Attempting to impede technological progress can lead to significant and long-lasting harm, as exemplified by Kodak, Blockbuster, and Nokia. Rather than resisting change, the U.S. must embrace it and leverage its potential to avoid being left behind like those who still cling to outdated Blackberry devices while fidget spinning in their other hand.
The past decade has witnessed the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency by over 300 million people, offering a glimpse into the future. This transformation is akin to the evolution from “Dial-Up” to “Broadband” to wireless internet connectivity, signaling the potential for a substantial technological advancement to revolutionize how they conduct the financial transaction.
Despite these advancements, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a hard-line stance against the crypto movement, viewing it as a threat to the economy. This approach has only driven investors away from the U.S. market and towards alternative locations more amenable to cryptocurrencies. It is reminiscent of the plight of Kodak, which failed to capitalize on the advent of digital photography and subsequently lost its position as an industry leader.
The SEC’s actions have left many in the crypto community frustrated and disheartened, particularly in light of the agency’s inconsistent treatment of exchanges like Bittrex. The ongoing debate over whether Bitcoin should be classified as a security or a commodity has devolved into a political game of ping-pong between the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). This lack of unity is a source of embarrassment for a country whose name includes the word “united.” Unfortunately, progress on this issue is moving at a sluggish pace.
In addition to their hesitance to adapt their monetary operating model and a lack of precise regulation, the American government, and financial institutions have been using media channels to discourage people from investing in cryptocurrencies by highlighting concerns about their reliability and safety. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center indicates that 75% of Americans who have heard of cryptocurrencies need more confidence in their current investing methods, trading, or using them. Of those surveyed, 39% are not confident at all, while another 36% could be more confident in the safety and reliability of cryptocurrencies. While this kind of survey is pointless and obviously is one of the governmental ‘Job creation roles’, the study of what the over 50’s thinking about crypto, in which 85% also expressed doubts about the safety and reliability of cryptocurrencies, is as baffling as why there is a ‘G’ in Lasagna.
The U.S. Narrative is Powerful and evident as the weapon of choice. Even Steve Jobs said, ‘The Most Powerful Person in the world is the storyteller.’
Perhaps the real issue is that cryptocurrency will only be accepted by those who take over the running of the SEC, CFTC, or White House. New blood, if you like, with visions that embrace the benefits of adopting this technology and enhancing its presence on a global stage.
While selective governing bodies and their “task force” try to clean up the FTX embarrassment, a well-paid “side hustle” for many of those leading this charge to close down various exchanges, they maintain a restrictive narrative that overlooks an opportunity of a lifetime.
The U.S. hosts some of the most outstanding entrepreneurs in history, all aware of how other economies approach the cryptocurrency market. While adoption seems challenging, there is a concerted effort from those running internal agencies to reach out to their own tech billionaires for help and guidance. Most countries will excel with adopting this disruptive and innovative technology, which is not out to destroy the monetary system but instead to protect it and ensure we are ready for the coming centuries of difficulties.
Even if the greatest minds of the current crop of U.S. Entrepreneurs, such as Chamath Palihapitiya, David Sacks, David Friedberg, Elon Musk, and Brian Armstrong, were invited to advise and support those in charge, I fear that the U.S. government might not listen.
When you’re dripping in history of constant fighting, it is not surprising that their instinctual reaction to crypto is to assault it in every direction possible instead of seeing it as an ally. It is even more concerning when President Biden announced that “cryptocurrency is not a useful technology,” a statement that many believe he did not make, as it seems too long of a sentence for him to make.
I hope the U.S. government and financial institutions take a more proactive approach toward cryptocurrencies. It’s not enough to simply fear or fight against this emerging technology; instead, there needs to be a concerted effort to embrace its potential and foster innovation.
Unfortunately, regulators and the White House are attempting to block cryptocurrency firms from accessing conventional banking services, thereby stifling the growth and adoption of this disruptive technology. This has significant knock-on effects, as bank officials and central bankers are less willing to speak about crypto, leading to a limited debate on its future. Isn’t it strange how all the banks are still tight-lipped about this subject?
However, as history has shown, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are here to stay, regardless of regulatory crackdowns. These systems were conceived to empower individuals to control their fates in the digital era, separate from government and corporate structures.
Ultimately, it’s time for regulators and the White House to clarify that crypto has a future on U.S. shores. This means defining regulation and creating a welcoming environment for the digital asset industry to thrive. After all, cryptocurrency tests principles of government restraint foundational to the American ethos, such as free speech and other rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. By embracing cryptocurrencies, the U.S. can position itself as a leader in the global economy and ensure that it remains competitive for years to come.
Recognizing the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies may lead the U.S. down the same path as Kodak, Blockbuster, and Nokia, ultimately resulting in being left behind in the global economy.
They need a visionary leader with a JFK-like mindset to emerge and lead them back to the pinnacle of success.