Crypto Skeptics Warn Congress To Treat Fintech Responsibly
Will Congress listen?
Posted by Daren Firestone
Today, 26 self-described “computer scientists, software engineers, and technologists” sent a letter to Congress “in support of responsible fintech policy.” The signatories, who included a lecturer at Harvard with expertise in cryptography and the principal engineer of Google Cloud, proclaimed, “We strongly disagree with the narrative — peddled by those with a financial stake in the crypto-asset industry — that these technologies represent a positive financial innovation and are in any way suited to solving the financial problems facing ordinary Americans.” They further concluded that “blockchain technologies facilitate few, if any, real-economy uses. On the other hand, the underlying crypto-assets have been the vehicle for unsound and highly volatile speculative investment schemes that are being actively promoted to retail investors who may be unable to understand their nature and risk.” I don’t have the technical background to agree or disagree. Without a crystal ball, nobody knows how blockchain technology will ultimately be used (or not). Nonetheless, the warnings from these experts should be heard and considered by Congress and the public at large. I worry that their views will be drowned out by better-funded interests.