Crypto is a near-useless commodity that not only enables people to gamble their savings but also helps criminals launder money and evade detection. Even in its best-case scenarios, crypto serves no glaring need. Bitcoin has become a store of value to the point that many refer to it as digital gold; that means it might help people living in countries whose sovereign currency is so devalued or so volatile as to be irrelevant. But its stability depends on belief in its intrinsic value among those holding it. Meanwhile, stablecoins — crypto tokens tied to more traditional currencies — aren’t actually stable. For those that are, a digital dollar would serve the same purpose, with more protections.
Advocates treat crypto’s lack of a trusted intermediary as a virtue. The answer to the lack of oversight that allowed SBF to defraud so many people of so much money, unnoticed, would appear to be to put cops on the beat and laws on the books — finding an analogue in the traditional financial system for every crypto entity, and imposing matching oversight. But subject these entities to the same requirements as their fuddy-duddy off-blockchain counterparts, and you’ve also gutted much of their raison d’être. That’s all the more reason to do it.
‘Enforcement 40’ for 2020
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