Countries that embrace bitcoin would be frontrunners in the financial technology space, according to Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano of Morgan Creek Digital Assets.
The co-founder & partner told CNBC Squawk Box during a panel discussion that some nation would one day decide to adopt bitcoin. He cited Game Theory, a study of strategic interactions between rational decision-makers. In the case of bitcoin, those decision-makers are the countries that compete with each other to gain an advantage in a particular area. Pomp believes bitcoin is quite like an industry that creates regulatory competition among nations across the world. So even if one country goes easy on it, the others are likely to do the same to maintain the so-called contest.
“Look at Singapore.” Pomp explained. “If they say, bring it on; we’re going to provide fair rules. We will give your clarity because we want companies here.”
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) July 30, 2019
Bitcoin and US
The statements appeared amidst growing tensions in the US crypto regulatory space. It started with the introduction of Facebook payment cryptocurrency Libra, which prompted US lawmakers to raise concerns about its intention to replace sovereign currencies. Libra’s underlying nature and technology took inspirations from Bitcoin. That prompted regulators, lawmakers, and the US President himself to consider both as the same.
I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air. Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2019
On July 15, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called bitcoin “a national security threat.” He later appeared in an interview on CNBC and – as many noted – calmly hinted that he would wipe the US cryptocurrency industry from existence in the next five or six years.
“I would bet even in five to six years I won’t even be talking about bitcoin as Treasury secretary,” Mnuchin said.
Regulating Bitcoin Intermediaries
CoinShares’ Chief Strategy Officer Meltem Demirors, who appeared alongside Pomp in the CNBC panel discussion, believes the US is all about rules. The former World Economic Forum councilwoman said regulators in the US have no problems with people who use bitcoin as long as they follow the law.
“One of the most important things for most of the hardcore Bitcoiners is that they have a choice,” Demirors said. “They can choose what they want to do with their bitcoins – who to transact with, who to interact with. This whole movement is about eliminating our dependence on intermediaries.”
Meanwhile, she added that US regulations are more about protecting people who interact with third-party companies to access bitcoin services. Excerpts:
“We see large scale systematic risks coming from these institutions so the idea of bitcoin doing away with intermediaries is good one. But, in fact, we have become more dependent on them than ever. Just the fact they were able to obtain user accounts from Coinbase is a great example.”