Crypto Regulation Bringing Philosophical Hard Fork

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  • The recent increase in cryptocurrency regulation is breeding a philosophical battle between two camps
  • Some accept that cryptocurrency regulation is inevitable while others think crypto shouldn’t just accept it
  • Crypto has got so big that regulation is unavoidable

The increase in regulatory oversight on cryptocurrency has led to something of a philosophical argument between two camps – those who understand that regulation is an important and, more to the point, inevitable part of any asset class that has ideals of global acceptance, and those who believe that cryptocurrency is the currency of the anti-establishment where privacy should be respected above all. What are the arguments on both sides, and who is more likely to end up disappointed?

Cypherpunks Outraged

Where certain individuals fall on the scale is impacted by their existing outlook on life and politics, which is where the cryptocurrency movement has its roots. The cypherpunks of the 1990s, even back to privacy pioneer David Chaum in the 1980s, envisioned a financial system free of government oversight where individuals could interact in privacy. Whether they truly believed that such a system could ever catch on in a global sense is debatable, which means that cryptocurrency’s rise to power leaves it straddling both camps and satisfying neither completely.

Cryptocurrency is Doing a Deal With the Devil

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin may have initially reflected many of the cypherpunks ideologies, but over time they have become adopted by the very institutions they were supposed to usurp, which no doubt rankles with the most ideological cypherpunks. These individuals would decry the regulatory boot that threatens to kick cryptocurrency into line with the rest of the global financial system, which has become a necessity due to its size and continued use by criminal enterprises.

If the regulation-resistant cypherpunks are at one end of the scale then the realists are at the end of the other. These individuals understand that if cryptocurrencies are ever going to reach the huge valuations widely talked about then they cannot do so unregulated; only by attracting financial institutions can they ever hope to achieve these lofty goals, and those institutions aren’t going to buy anything that isn’t 100% regulated.

Privacy Idealists Being Sidelined

The fact is that if the cryptocurrency market was never going to get away with being a trillion-dollar asset and stay under the regulatory radar. The genie is out of the bottle and, whether the cypherpunks like it or not, the screw will continue to tighten. It’s time to board the regulatory bus and make your peace or get off and wave as Bitcoin and the rest race off into the distance.