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Twenty-six prominent technologists have signed a letter to the U.S. Congress urging a crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry, which Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler has called “the Wild West,” as we noted in “Gensler: Crypto Not Viable Long-Term” (28 Sep 2021).

The signers include Kelsey Hightower, Google’s chief cloud engineer; Miguel de Icaza, a programmer who helped create the MONO and Xamarin projects; and  Bruce Scheiner, a computer security expert and Harvard University lecturer.

“We’re counter-lobbying,” signatory Stephen Diehl, a software developer, told the Financial Times. “Crypto people…say what they want to the politicians.”

The crypto industry boosted its number of lobbyists working Congress from 115 to 320 from 2018 through 2021, according to advocacy group Public Citizen (PC).

The hired influencers press the industry’s claims that digital currencies bring people without bank accounts into the financial system, guard financial privacy, and offer a hedge against inflation. alone spent $1.5 million among 26 lobbyists in 2021, PC reported, with Meta, Paypal, and Visa also paying to sway lawmakers’ views.

In their letter, the technologists warn that crypto’s claims are oversimplified.

“We urge you to resist pressure from digital asset industry financiers, lobbyists, and boosters to create a regulatory safe haven for these risky, flawed, and unproven digital financial instruments,” the letter said. 

“The claims that blockchain advocates make are not true,” Scheiner said in comments quoted by the Financial Times.

“It’s not secure; it’s not decentralized,” he added. “Any system where you forget your password and you lose your life savings is not a safe system.”

The letter follows president Joe Biden’s March executive order directing federal agencies to explore crypto’s potential impact on federal operations and possible regulatory actions. 

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  1. Ismael Quinones 2 months ago

    Crypto must be regulated like any other financial asset. Too many greedy and non ethical individuals.

  2. harlow53 2 months ago

    Crypto currencies give Federal Reserve Bankers total control over all assets of an individual investor! Regulating cryptos by the SEC or CFTC is only a continuation of the present Federal Reserve pyramid and ponzu scheme that has been in existence since the establishment of the Privately Owned Federal Reserve Bank!!!!!

  3. Bill11 2 months ago

    The Federal Reserve and Central Banks are anxious to totally control the Crypto Industry. They don’t want anyone in on their control of the world crime syndicate.

  4. Larry Inn 2 months ago

    Cryptogenic, crypto-kids,

    Peter Gelderloos: “How Non-Violence Protects the State.”
    This book makes a strong argument for the diversity of tactics, while illuminating how the ideology of pacifism leads us not to social justice, but rather, the peace one finds in Cemeteries. Comment by Ann Hansen.

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