Don't Ban Crypto! The Case for Pro-Innovation Regulation

The Breakdown


Regular listeners will have heard me reference a number of times a recent essay in foreign affairs by professor Hilary Allen called the case for banning crypto. Hillary Allen is a Professor of law at American university and she has appeared numerous times in front of Congress as a congressional witness about the crypto industry. The point being that she's not some fly by night critic. She is a respected and legitimate voice in Washington, D.C.. Her argument is quite clear in this piece. It's that as the subtitle says, blockchain's risks far outweigh its rewards. I don't need to go through piece by piece or line by line. A few weeks ago, I read a couple of rebuttals. It is notable that she threw many of the arguments that crypto advocates have right back in their face, including the idea that America could lose leadership and push crypto companies overseas. Alan basically says we shouldn't want them here because this isn't an industry we should want to be a leader in. I don't think that the point of this piece was actually Hillary Allen thinking that she could get people to ban crypto. I think the point of this piece was to shift the overton window to include banning crypto as an option. If that's the case, it's obviously very important to have voices who are also respected in Washington. Bring the conversation back to a more middle ground. And for that, we turn to the blockchain association's Kristen Smith. Kristen is extremely sharp. You can go see her in my holiday interviews from last year, and she has just published a piece on coindesk called the case for regulating not banning crypto. Kristen writes, American university professor Hilary Allen, who recently wrote an article titled the case for banning crypto in the influential publication foreign affairs, is part of a very small cohort of, quote, crypto banners, working toward that end. In addition to engaging the media, Alan and her peers are pushing the argument that crypto does more harm than good while speaking with federal agencies. She is testifying before the congressional hearing on the future of digital assets on Thursday afternoon. The case for banning crypto is a pipe dream. It won't happen by Allen's own admission, blockchain is a general purpose database technology that supports a $1 trillion industry, employing thousands globally, nonetheless, the efforts to ban rather than regulate crypto have only backfired and harmed Americans.

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