Why is it, therefore, that we have come to see “innovation” as such an unalloyed good, and why is “stifling” it so unequivocally bad? Surely the objective of the innovation — and the possible repercussions — should matter, too. Innovation might be crucial in making progress in all sorts of areas, such as medicine or science, but we seem to have got to a place where it is the idea itself that we venerate. That is wrong-headed: innovation should not be seen as an end in itself, but as a means of making something better.
Crypto might be novel but that does not make it useful or valuable to society. We cannot go on imagining that all innovation is a force for good. In practice, “innovation” often just means exploiting gaps in existing rules until the regulators catch up — so called “regulatory arbitrage”, a strategy that the crypto industry has very successfully deployed and indeed relied upon. Unfortunately for these ingenious crypto “innovators”, catching up is exactly what regulators are now doing.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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