The World Wide Web, as its name implies, is borderless, and so is crypto. The internet and cryptocurrency’s common ethos is wide-open communication and exchange, unimpeded by national boundaries. On the ground, however, as crypto has become a more significant player in the financial system, nations have begun to consider issues of sovereignty and regulation. While many countries have so far remained open to crypto, others have restricted its use or outright banned it. The same reason that some have advocated for crypto and blockchain technology — as a means of revolutionizing the international financial system — has alarmed plenty of world leaders.
For example, Hillary Clinton, calling attention to the risks of crypto and the need for regulation, said at a Bloomberg conference in Singapore in 2021, “One more area that I hope nation-states start paying greater attention to is the rise of cryptocurrency because [it] has the potential for undermining currencies, for undermining the role of the dollar as the reserve currency, for destabilizing nations, perhaps starting with small ones but going much larger.” These are strong words, and governments have begun to take claims like these seriously. Despite crypto’s decentralization, regulation appears inevitable and could profoundly alter its development and adoption worldwide.
Regulating cryptocurrency in the U.S.
Dr. Jonathan Reichental is the founder of Human Future, a global business and technology advisory, investment and education firm. He holds a Ph.D. in information systems from Nova Southeastern University and is an adjunct professor at the School of Management at the University of San Francisco.