At this point, it has become public knowledge that President Donald Trump doesn’t particularly like cryptocurrencies. The President made his feelings known in a Twitter thread posted last week, where he outlined the volatility of crypto-assets and their propensity to be used in illicit activities across multiple industries.
Since, Trump made his feelings about crypto assets known, the industry itself has been front and center of the government’s attention for multiple reasons. For one, many believe that this indictment could mean that the President and his cabinet are looking into possible ways to ban the crypto sale and bitcoin trading.
On the other hand, there is a Senate hearing on Libra, Facebook’s new crypto asset, which is set to take place any moment from now. Shortly after Trump made his comments, the Bitcoin market went on a tailspin, going from being as high as $13,000 on July 10 to barely cracking the $10,500 threshold at press time. The relationship between this drop and Trump’s ire is a speculative one, but many analysts have also attributed the former to the latter.
The President’s sentiment was echoed by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. In a press release published yesterday, the Treasury Secretary highlighted that the issue of cryptocurrency regulation, calling it a “national security issue.”
It’s easy to see these comments as a particular non-endorsement of crypto assets. However, a lot of people also see the comments of the Treasury Secretary as a sign that the cryptocurrency market in America will be getting proper regulations as time goes on.
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple Labs, addressed Mnuchin’s comments in a Twitter thread of his own, where he pointed out that while crypto assets aren’t perfect, they have definitely come a long way from the days when they were being exclusively used as tools for criminals.
Garlinghouse added that cryptocurrencies shouldn’t all be “painted with the same brush,” and there is a need for the industry itself to work with regulators on compliance issues.
In more ways than one, the Ripple CEO is right. Cryptocurrencies have definitely evolved from the days when criminal activities on the Dark Web were pretty much the order of the day, thanks in large part of the development of the industry on various fronts, and most especially, the collaboration of regulatory authorities and various crypto businesses (including cryptocurrency exchanges, crypto-asset developers, and more).
It’s also worth noting that illegal Bitcoin spending has been on the downturn. Blomberg reported earlier this month that illegal Bitcoin spent this year have amounted to about $500 million, and while the number is expected to increase within the next few months, illicit crypto-related activities have also been on the sharp decline.
Hannah Curtis, Chief Executive of market analysis firm Chainalysis, revealed that just 1 percent of total Bitcoin activity is illegal, down from about 7 percent in 2012. So, it’s obvious that cryptocurrencies aren’t the perfect solution. However, an outright ban is a long way from the solution, especially given the potential that they have.