Insurrections, transitions, monitoring transactions and 2021, Jan. 1–8

Every Friday, Law Decoded delivers analysis on the week’s critical stories in the realms of policy, regulation and law.

Editor’s note

January takes its name from Janus, the god of transitions and the guardian or the gates of Rome, looking always forward and backwards.

So while this has been going on for over two millennia, only a week into 2021 I am thoroughly tired of retrospectives and prognostications. My personal takeaways from 2020 were pretty existential: we are but sentient dust; life comes at you fast; man plans and God laughs etc. But while I grew more suspicious of the institution of prediction, I got a lot more diligent about flossing, so at least one resolution panned out.

The past several weeks have been rich enough in crypto policy news that I don’t feel much need to go into abstractions about the future, but that doesn’t mean I will totally refrain from making reckless predictions. A lot of what we’ve seen recently in U.S. policy has had to do with the coming transition from one administration to the next, which will dominate the next twelve days.

While a number of government agencies run by presidential appointees have hustled to get final rules out before getting swept away by Biden’s replacements, the storm of the Capitol Building Wednesday evening was enough of a shock and an outrage as to cause everything else to come to a screeching halt. It also seems to have washed away the last meaningful support the outgoing president had at the federal level. In the U.S. at least, it looks like the next two weeks are going to be all about containing Trump.