We can point to so many different moments throughout history where a number of countries were involved in various types of arms races. Whether you’re looking at a nuclear arms race or the race to the moon, there are many insights to be gained by comparing the technological competition between today’s leading countries to the historical events of those “race for progress” moments.
As some key figures in crypto have said: Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are leading the charge for a separation of state and money.
As it stands (for pretty much all of history), currency has been controlled by the governments who issue it. They create a currency for their people and for the most part, they control everything that follows. The rise and fall of currencies is definitely a topic worth exploring, but I won’t digress into that in this post.
Right now, the U.S. and nearly every other country out there are engaged in a currency arms race. As it stands, Bitcoin is viewed differently by different countries. Each has a unique perspective on what Bitcoin is and what it truly stands for and will stand for in the foreseeable future. The more important issue to focus on, however, is how these countries are proactively planning their future under the context of a successful Bitcoin network.
Bitcoin is now the largest global computing network in the world. It’s a force to be reckoned with in terms of being a network but as time goes on, it is increasingly being viewed as a true store of value and the official currency of the internet. This isn’t me saying that it’s the currency of the internet, this is a statement coming from many elite members of our global society, including Jack Dorsey of Square and Twitter.
How the U.S. is Falling Behind
There is a lot of news about crypto regulation today as the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has just published a statement about their strategic plan to embrace digital assets, support innovation and properly regulate this burgeoning industry:
“We will develop a holistic framework to promote responsible innovation in digital assets” CFTC
While this is mostly a bullish thing for crypto (and as of the time I’m writing this, crypto is rallying a few %), this just furthers my belief in the lack of execution on behalf of the U.S. Government to support crypto adoption. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the U.S. say something about supporting innovation while protecting investors from fraud and it definitely won’t be the last. The issue that I have is the actions and pillars that are in place today.
This issue of crypto regulation in the U.S. is well documented and as it stands today, it’s a major pain in the ass to be involved in crypto as a U.S. citizen and even worse if you are a U.S. based business or a potential U.S. based business that is trying to initiate the startup process.
Regulation is fuzzy at best, there is a history of huge fines and little leniency and more. From the perspective of someone who wants to operate a crypto-based business in the United States, it seems like the government is trying to make it as hard as possible with the goal of ultimately driving the innovators to other countries who are open to innovation and who’s actions show a friendliness to crypto developers/businesses in general.
"During [a Unitize Panel on July 7], the speakers highlighted the lack of clarity around cryptocurrency taxation in the U.S.. According to the tax experts at Coinbase and Fidelity, the uncertainty is a result of the complex nature of digital assets as well as a huge variety of different types and features of different coins.” CT
Where do Other Countries Stand?
This idea that other countries stand more so on the side of innovation and cryptocurrencies than the U.S. can also be seen in places like Japan. Another breaking story today is that Japan’s new commissioner of financial services is going to be Ryozo Himino — a well known “crypto sympathetic”.
So while other countries are making actual progress in the support of and actual incubation of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin, the U.S. keeps putting out what can be referred to (in my opinion) as “letters of intent” rather than measurable progress.
As we mature through the process of the Bitcoin/crypto arms race — where countries vie for innovation in the digital currency realm and ultimately adopt Bitcoin as the global currency of the internet — where will countries like Japan end up versus countries like the U.S.?
My opinion is obviously less valid than those of people who actually deal in crypto regulation first-hand. When you look at exchanges, the heads of Coinbase, Fidelity, etc. the common thread keeps getting pulled and is lingering in the face of the world:
The U.S. is driving crypto innovation out while other countries are welcoming it in with open arms.
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