By Bill Taylor, Contributor
Somewhere in a galaxy far far away……………no, no no, that’s not it. It should read, on a blockchain, only several years ago, something was created that has not only changed the world (yeah, really) but has become a household name, opened a whole new financial sector, created lots of wealth AND stirred up controversy and……a war. What is this creation? BITCOIN. This bitcoin creation has now spawned other cryptocurrencies and is rapidly (like the speed of light) changing the financial landscape around the globe.
Ah, but it is also creating a dilemma for financial regulators and central bankers (bureaucrats). Hence, the war. To be sure ten years ago only a very few young innovators “got” the bitcoin concept. Only three years ago, bitcoin had “rocketed” to $300 and, of course, caught the attention of some very smart and savvy professionals. Now, after a steroid rally up to $20,000 and a sharp selloff, the “last to realize group” (better known as regulators and bureaucrats) have discovered this “bitcoin whatever” thing. And they have a problem. First, how to understand it? Second, how do we regulate and tax it? Third, how do we control it and make sure it doesn’t eliminate our jobs? Oh boy, it’s like getting to a wild party late (and sober) when everybody else is way ahead in the fun.
So, this “war” between Billionaires and Bureaucrats is fully under way and the weapons of choice are MONEY and REGULATIONS. Billionaires have got money, bureaucrats have got regulations. Money and capital are pouring into crypto platforms, exchanges, bitcoin itself and a myriad of new exciting products (futures, options, ETF’s, funds, etc). BUT, to fully ensure this new sector reaches its full (and profitable) potential, a regulatory infrastructure must be in place.
Advantage bureaucrats? Not exactly. It seems the most worrisome aspect for the regulators is that bitcoin (and all money) is transferable and fungible globally. So, new regulatory environments are springing up in more ‘advanced’ jurisdictions (Gibraltar, Malta, Switzerland, etc). And, of course, bitcoin (all cryptos) is decentralized worldwide via the blockchain. So, with decentralized DLT (distributed ledger technology) central bankers and their fiat currencies may be obsolete and replaced. Bitcoin becomes the “global currency”. Bye bye Euro, Juan, Dollar, Yen, etc etc. Scary or awesome?
So, big money has “discovered” bitcoin and wants in. Regulators have “discovered” bitcoin and want……well, they are not sure, but they surely want their jobs. This train has left the station and its an express, No stops. Winner prediction? Billionaires. Money talks, bureaucrats walk.
Bill Taylor is Managing Partner at Fintek Capital & a frequent contributor to FintekNews