Kim Dotcom, a well-known internet entrepreneur, has recently predicted a massive crackdown within the US crypto industry. He even went as far as to warn that crypto could become illegal in the US. The US regulatory agencies have kept a tight leash on the crypto industry within their borders, more often than not keeping everything in check. However, Bitcoin, being what it is, has suffered more scrutiny than praise within the US ecosystem.
Warning against the “US Empire”
Kim Dotcom, the founder of the file sharing site Megaupload, is a massive supporter of anonymous transactions. In a tweet he sent out, he reiterated the fact that he has always warned against the “US Empire” cracking down hard on crypto in the future during his interviews.
I’ve said it time and time again in my interviews with crypto influencers, US Empire will crack down on crypto, hard. Crypto is the single biggest threat to its power. It is now absolutely essential that we can transact >privately< because the use of crypto will become unlawful.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) December 26, 2019
He stressed the critical importance of being capable of transacting anonymously without being traced, warning that the crypto industry “will become unlawful” in the US.
Increased Scrutiny From The US
As for real signs of this happening, there isn’t much to say. The vulnerabilities depend significantly on the type of asset and network in question, as well. The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been intimately aware of the Bitcoin network’s record potential. Thus, the IRS has started to mandate a transaction history in order to regulate it properly. As of 2019 in the US, it’s virtually impossible to transact a suspiciously large amount of fiat in return for crypto unless detailed personal user data is shared.
As the perceived need for anonymity rose steadily, new ways have started to develop to stay anonymous. One of those, coin mixing, has been widely used but has received a large amount of skepticism.
One of the Strictest Crypto Environments
The US stands as one of the strictest environments to facilitate the usage of crypto. With so many measures in place to ensure consumer safety, some exchanges and brokers can bolster its reputation by saying they are fully compliant. The takeaway from this strict regulation is it makes crypto startups far more challenging to get off the ground. The rampant potential for criminal activities, especially Ponzi schemes that disguise themselves as crypto, is staggering. Thus, the Securities and Exchange Commission is ever wary, with extreme scrutiny leveled at any startup.
Thanks to firms like Ciphertrace, exchanges will be capable of scrutinizing the blockchain network itself in 2020. Along with that, exchanges keep records of the various transactions that happen on their platform.
While the censorship of Bitcoin hasn’t been done it, the measure is possible but highly unlikely. For the US to stop it, it would need to declare full-scale war on the network, something that is neither practical or good for PR.