Do we need Bitcoin regulation?
Bitcoin could certainly use the endorsement of government agencies, so regulation would be highly welcome. However, the details of just what benefit regulation would provide to bitcoins, over the existing set of MTL regulation, is far murkier.
What's up, party people? Chris DeRose here, Community Director of the Counterparty Foundation, and in this video, I'm gonna talk to you a little bit about: Do we need Bitcoin regulation? So I'm doing this video here at the southernmost tip of the United States, at least we're told. It's 90 miles to Cuba, and I think that that backdrop is really a nice way to frame this larger context of regulations. There's a lot of talk lately about what kind of regulations we need to impose and how, and I personally think that Bitcoin could use some regulation, though I think that it's a little bit hairier from there. You get into sort of what needs to be regulated, what protections do we need? And I'm of the belief that there's only so much that the government can actually do here. I think that there's a lot of regulations we already have that would apply directly to Bitcoin anyways, and I don't know that we need additional ones. But the reason why I believe Bitcoin regulations are needed is so that we can say that we have Bitcoin regulations.
There's a lot of people for whom regulation is either a yes or it's a no, and you are one or the other. So regardless of what the details of the regulations might even be, it's important that we say, "Yes, we are sanctioned by the government, or we have their blessing or the approval of whatever agencies we want." Now, in terms of what could be regulated in Bitcoin, it's a little hard for me to really envision how that works. Yes, the entry points into the network could probably be regulated in some capacity, but we already have a lot of that with existing banking regulations. So do people mean that perhaps we want it regulated at block times or every ten minutes? Sure! Let's regulate that. Does it matter? Probably not.
Do we want to regulate whether or not somebody can 51% attack the network? Well, probably we don't want that because if we had a regulation in place, that would reduce the security of the network. What would happen at that point is that, perhaps, people wouldn't try as hard to attack the network or wouldn't try in the United States as hard. And then what? We wouldn't know if Bitcoin is secure. At that time at which, perhaps, the government couldn't enforce the law or some such thing. There wasn't any natural consequence to to trying. So I don't know that there's a lot that makes sense in the Bitcoin world, in terms of needing to be regulated, Bitcoin transactions specifically.
And you also get into this issue of if Bitcoin is regulated, then what about the alt coins. Or more importantly, what about counterparty? Are these different than Bitcoin? What is Bitcoin? Where do we draw the lines? It's very new in this space, and I think that we think about the regulations on the internet and how little and few there have been. And that probably was a good thing for the internet. I think in Bitcoin, it's a little bit less relevant because the blockchain works by circumventing a lot of the traditional currency controllers or a lot of the conditional nuances to our existing system. I think that blockchains offer us a lot in many ways, and I just don't think that it matters what the details of the regulations are. But I think that it'd be nice to have them, so I can point to them and say, "Yeah, this is great! The government likes Bitcoin.
We know because they've issued regulations." That's my point. It's a little different than a lot of people in the community, so maybe your views are a little different. If they are, why don't you express them in the comments below? If you have questions for me, ask those too. You can leave those in the comments, or you can ask me on Twitter. My handle is @derosetech.
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