We don’t know if you did, but we certainly have asked ourselves the question many times. Steemit.com offers an opinion column by cryptoshaman, which perfectly describes the fears that pretty much every crypto-holder has if they ever held onto a Bitcoin (oк anything of the sort):
Can Cryptocurrencies be shut down by the government, hackers, bot networks and so on? Well, in the end, you always come back to one leading factor: It’s a human invention. So far our ideas aren’t outliving ourselves, that will probably only change with real artificial intelligence.
Cryptocurrency is actively being discussed at every level of government assemblies, including G20, as you may have learned from the statement by European Central Bank policymaker Benoît Cœuré:
“How do you understand and how do you control these gateways between the shadow currency universe and the regular financial system?” said the ECB executive board member. “That is being discussed and there will be answers.”
“But don’t lose sight of the opportunities,” he added. “The flip side of that discussion, what bitcoin tells us as central bankers is that our payments systems are too expensive and too slow and we have got to act on that and we need better cross-border payments because it is good for development and it is good for financial inclusion.”
Since the US is working on regulation of cryptocurrency, as well as many other countries around the globe, the question that you make asked yourself was what would happen when the future starts featuring multiple levels of cryptocurrency: some governmental, some belonging to the people.
How the government may be trying to use crypto
The question of the division of power is a very interesting one: Bitcoins were created to give power to the people and maybe even build a society with completely equal rights, but can the government (again) use the new technology for its own purposes?
Russia is trying to create its own cryptocurrency in order to avoid pressure from countries that already have a system in place. In effect, that would mean playing by the world’s rules, and Russia has never been the one to be told what to do.
As far as The Financial Times are concerned, Russia is trying to avoid the harmful effects of sanctions by creating means of paying anyone anywhere all over the globe. The recent move, according to which government officials in Russia don’t need to declare their crypto income, seems to be quite telling: the global economy and geopolitics are all about the power of influence, and digital currency holds much power.
Sergey Glaziev, Putin’s economic adviser, stated:
“This instrument suits us very well for sensitive activity on behalf of the state. We can settle accounts with our counterparties all over the world with no regard for sanctions.”
Using Russia’s example we will likely soon learn about other means and ways other countries will try to seize global power and assert their influence in the world. Even though Russia itself is quite popular in the headlines, they are not the only ones throwing their weight around, as you will know if you’re a fan of Snowden and his sagas of NSA’s intervention with bitcoin users a few years ago. Egypt is thought to be secretly mining its citizen’s bitcoins, as we have recently learned. So it seems there are many ways in which the government can benefit from the new tech – like suppressing human right’s websites in the case of Egypt.
The good news
The G20, on the other hand, delivers some positive news, stating that it will try to regulate Bitcoin for purposes of safety and security and well-being of the global village:
“We acknowledge that technological innovation, including that underlying crypto-assets, has the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of the financial system and the economy more broadly…Crypto-assets do, however, raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing. Crypto-assets lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies. At some point, they could have financial stability implications.”
This essentially means the government will try to monitor as much of crypto-related activity as it can get its hands on, with emphasis on “particular methods of terrorist financing activity that pose an emerging threat, as well as at products and services that may represent an emerging vulnerability.”
This, says Bitcoin.com with a reference to a letter from Mark Carney from the Financial Stability Board (FSB), (in which he states that there is basically no consensus among the world leaders on what to do with cryptocurrency) is a huge relief for the global crypto-community, because it looks like Bitcoin is coming back to the original values of freedom, integrity, and un-tracked empowerment.
Mark Carney has stated that crypto assets don’t pose a threat to global financial stability (which is good news for all those planning to put an end to global financial stability). Carney stated further:
“The FSB’s initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time. This is in part because they are small relative to the financial system. Even at their recent peak, their (cryptocurrencies) combined global market value was less than 1% of global GDP.”
As it currently stands, we see that even though there is some interest in some countries in the world in policing crypto assets, on the whole Europe seems to be quite relaxed about everything to do with Bitcoins.
A prospect of cooperation
While US, France, and Japan continue working on regulations governing cryotechnology and its uses for bad, the question remains whether it is, in fact, possible to control and account for something as versatile as Bitcoin.
Carney’s letter is one example of the fact we pointed to previously: just like with the beginning stages of The Internet, cryptocurrency is far too adaptable and omnipresent for it to be policed. If the government is able to cooperate with the crypto community to find a way to integrate it into its services (derived from the word “integrity”), that is entirely different matter.
We hope for an all-inclusive, flexible and democratic framework that will allow crypto technology and the government to co-exist in order to create a better, more efficient, and more productive world with more opportunities and equal rights for all.
“We need better cross-border payments also because it’s good for development, it’s good for financial inclusion,” said Coeure – “So Bitcoin can help us, it can pay us a service by forcing us to upgrade our systems. That’s a positive lesson. We live in a world where <cryptocurrencies> are not and should not be used for competitive purposes.”
Image via Bitcoin.com
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