Crypto deniers trot out the same tired, stale arguments

At an Oct. 11 hearing on “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem,” members of the Senate Banking Committee heard two completely different perspectives on the topic.

When the committee paired Dr. Nouriel Roubini, an outspoken critic of crypto, with Peter Van Valkenburgh, the research director at Coin Center, it must have been hoping for a serious debate.

Instead, Roubini delivered animated rants retreading the usual arguments against cryptocurrencies and blockchain, nearly all of which have been answered countless times.

The argument boils down to this: Criminals use it, so the government should shut it down or regulate it to death. It’s the same objection that was raised 10 years ago when bitcoin burst on the scene, and it’s no more persuasive now than it was then.

Like it or not, criminals are just like the rest of us in that they will take advantage of every technological advance. Take computers, for example: They use them for criminal purposes, yet no one argues we should ban computers or regulate who could buy them.

More importantly, as Van Valkenburgh testified, law enforcement officials can more easily catch criminals who use these public ledgers as opposed to those who use cash or other forms of payment with no record at all.

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