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This Thursday was the second day of the Bitcoin Conference 2022, the world’s largest cryptocurrency conference, and activist and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang participated to discuss the political spectrum’s response to digital assets and how a possible “regulatory regime” could have harmful effects on the economy of the future.
The Forward Party leader was joined by the People for Liberty president and former Libertarian Party presidential candidate, Jo Jorgensen, as well as American author, Allen Farrington, and award-winning independent journalist, Glenn Greenwald.
Yang suggested that resistance from the spheres of power against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies could push investors and innovators to leave the country and invest somewhere else.
“People respond to Bitcoin in a very ideological manner, in a way that is not very rational or principled, and unfortunately we’re at a time in American life where as soon as someone says they’re for it, the other side says they’re against it,” Yang said early in his speech. “We’re becoming more and more polarized, and that’s a recipe for disaster in terms of innovation, in terms of having new approaches to our financial future.”
Washington Resists Bitcoin
According to the Asian-American activist, that fear of financial freedom he perceives in Washington explains why 62% of Americans feel that the political duopoly between Democrats and Republicans is not working and “want to leave it behind,” but the circumstances of power force them to choose between one or the other. Yang says Americans “want a different approach that is serious about solving tomorrow’s problems rather than blaming someone else for them.”
Greenwald interjected to suggest that Bitcoin is a highly disruptive financial technology, which is why it has met strong resistance from the two major historical parties of American democracy. “There are so many political, cultural and social dimensions to Bitcoin, it answers so many of the problems that so many political factions can’t find a solution for, that it’s almost baffling that there is reflexive hostility to it,” the journalist said.
For Yang, that same “hostility” that Greenwald mentioned could end up “pushing out” the innovation that exists around Bitcoin, which is why he considers it necessary to fight so that the regulation of cryptocurrencies does not harm the freedom of its users.
“[In Washington] they are plotting a regulatory regime,” said the activist. “They said that they want to have the new rules within 210 days, so in the next 6 months there will be a new set of policies regarding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and I think we need to make sure that they keep those rules on this side of sanity. As an American, I want this energy of innovation to remain here in the United States if we can help make that happen.”
However, Yang believes that the community around Bitcoin and the independent media is “the beginning of an alternative” against the powerful American establishment, and is hopeful that it will continue to grow over time.