On Thursday (May 26), Charles Hoskinson, who is Co-Founder and CEO of IO Global (aka “IOG”, formerly known as “IOHK”), the company responsible for Cardano’s research and development, talked about his recent trip to Washington, DC.
After meeting various members of the U.S. Congress, he streamed live on his YouTube channel to update the crypto community in general and the Cardano community in particular on something very disturbing that he had discovered, namely that certain Bitcoin maximalists have been lobbying U.S. lawmakers to create legislation that places regulatory obstacles in front of every cryptoasset other than Bitcoin.
“I did discover that certain members of the Bitcoin community are actively telling lawmakers to write into legislation that everything but Bitcoin is a security, to write into legislation every attempt possible to dealigitimize, or outright ban, proof of state cryptocurrencies. This was extremely disappointing and disheartening.
“I like to believe that despite that we have political differences or technological differences, or differing financial incentives, that we would fight these things in the marketplace of ideas and the marketplace of users and traditional competition. The attempt to co-opt the U.S. federal government and legislative process to ban your competition is anathema to every single thing the bitcoin movement was founded upon.
“This is the behaviour of multinational banks. It’s not the behaviour of people who came from libertarian principles and free market principles. It’s disgusting, its reprehensible, and it’s unbelievable that people would tell the staff of members of Congress and Senate to do these things. Saw the messages, saw the emails, heard it from many different sources, and we know who you are. So, it’s childish. It doesn’t really have much of an impact, and frankly, it delegitimizes the people saying and doing it.
“But it does show that our industry has a long way to go. We have to be mature. We have to be adults, and we have to acknowledge that problems have occurred when tens of billions of dollars gets lost in a matter of a week. And the people responsible for that will probably still walk away with millions if not billions of dollars, and many people were warned that these things could happen, and there are no consequences or perceived consequences.
“This is an invitation for heavy regulation. This is an invitation for sweeping legislative changes that in hindsight could be very damaging or problematic to our industry and for some reason a lot of people don’t seem to want to call out this behaviour. They just say,’ let’s move on’, and pretend like it didn’t exist.
“And the fact that maximalism has gotten to the point where dirty tricks are being played and people are trying to convince politicians now to encode maximalist principles into U.S. law is another example of just the fractious nature and the childish nature and the immature and irresponsible nature of some members of this industry.
“I think we can all be better, and I sincerely hope that the other leaders in the space show up here and express themselves in productive, positive ways, and are willing to collaborate and co-operate on some basic principles, like the standards of smart contracts, the definitions of things like decentralisation, trying to create regulatory frameworks that actually make sense as opposed to ones that are just extensions of things that came up in the 1930s.
“I’m willing to work with pretty much anybody. If any leader of the cryptocurrency space called me tomorrow and said, ‘let’s do something together’, I’ll pick up the phone call, and have that conversation. It’s for the greater good of this industry as a whole. And I’d like to believe that there’s at least more than one person willing to do that.
“And if we work together, collectively we command as an industry trillions of dollars of economic value in a very strong voice. If we compete with each other and fight each other, finger point, name call, or attempt to use the process to damage each other’s competition, we will neither accomplish that end nor will we achieve the end of legitimising and stabilising the industry. Rather, we will hand it to the legacy actors who will never give it back to choice. We have to hang together or divided fall apart. So I’ll do my part. I hope you do yours as well.“
The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.