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Anti-crypto group sends open letter to Washington lawmakers

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A group of 26 crypto sceptics have signed an open letter which was sent to U.S. lawmakers. The letter asks the lawmakers to resist pressure from the crypto lobby and those financing the industry, stating that private digital assets are risky and unproven.

The group consists of computer scientists, technology experts, and others. They include Harvard lecturer Bruce Schneier, IBM Fellow Grady Booch, former Microsoft engineer Miguel de Icaza and Google Cloud Principal Engineer Kelsey Hightower.

The letter starts by giving the general credentials of those who signed it, and goes on to ask that lawmakers take a sceptical approach toward the claims of the crypto industry that its technology is “unreservedly good”. 

It also demands that the industry not be given a “regulatory safe haven”, and that the “risky, flawed, and unproven digital financial instruments” be regulated in order to protect ordinary citizens.

The group claims that it has “deep expertise” in different fields and that it disputes the many claims made for blockchain as an innovative technology, saying instead that it is “poorly suited for just about every purpose currently touted”.

A litany of issues that purportedly beset blockchain include severe limitations, design flaws, few, if any, real-economy uses, threats to national security through money-laundering, ransomware attacks, and many others besides.

One of the group, former Microsoft engineer Miguel de Icaza, has also stated (probably referring to bitcoin) that a similar thing can be done “in a centralised way with a $100 computer”. He added:

“We’re essentially wasting millions of dollars’ worth of equipment because we’ve decided that we don’t trust the banking system.”

Opinion

For any technology that came out in history, many detractors would have been found for all of them, whether they were successful or otherwise. Plenty of pro-bitcoiners were hugely sceptical back in the day, but after spending the time doing the research they changed their minds.

It does also appear a little odd that so many of the brightest minds in the world have been attracted by the possibilities in blockchain and cryptocurrency, if it is just one huge technological black hole, and a scam into the bargain.

Finally, Icaza, the former Microsoft engineer, posits the idea that we don’t trust the banking system. He’s right. Given the unholy mess that we are all in thanks to the fiat monetary system, it is no wonder that many will be looking to innovate and try to create a better system.

Many hugely powerful people and organisations, who rely on the traditional financial system, have the power and influence that makes the crypto lobby look like a tea party. Expect them to find more detractors of blockchain and crypto in the future.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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