U.S. lawmakers’ stance on cryptocurrencies is out-dated and bordering on negligent, according to the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organizations. The comments from Nigel Green, founder and CEO of deVere Group, which launched its pioneering cryptocurrency trading app deVere Crypto last year, come after two days of congressional hearings this week to discuss Facebook’s planned digital currency, Libra.
It also follows Bitcoin’s impressive 9 per cent jump on Thursday.
Green said: “Many of the lawmakers’ stance on cryptocurrencies – which are almost universally regarded as the future of money – is out-dated and blinkered. Some of their comments in the congressional hearings suggest that they think cryptocurrencies are a passing fad. That is delusional. The demand for digital, global, borderless currencies is only going to increase. This is inevitable as the digitalisation of our economies and our daily lives grows further and picks up pace further still.”
He argued that because demand is set to soar over the next few years as retail and institutional investors pile into crypto, lawmakers now need to embrace them and bring them fully into the mainstream financial system with proper and robust regulation.
Green said it was bordering on negligent not to do so for three key reasons.
- It would provide further protection for the growing number of people using and investing in cryptocurrencies.
- Unless the US leads the way in the digital currency revolution, other countries – with perhaps counter values to those of America – will control it and it would be hard to ever take back that control.
- There are enormous potential opportunities for higher economic growth by embracing cryptocurrencies.
In a similar vein, the deVere CEO slammed President Trump last week when he criticised Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. At the time he said:
“Standing on the sidelines, or worse looking backwards, on the issue of cryptocurrencies – which are redefining and reshaping the financial system – is a baffling approach for the leader of the world’s largest economy to take. Digital currencies are the biggest innovation in payment systems in many decades. Facebook’s jump into the sector is a clear indication of the direction of travel in this regard and lawmakers must not put their heads in the sand and/or attack – that is futile and counterproductive. Instead they must work alongside stakeholders to make the market stronger still as investors continue to dive into the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP and Litecoin.”
Official recognition of cryptocurrencies, potentially as a regulated investment, would be an important step for the asset class. Several attempts have been made to launch ETFs based on Bitcoin for example. The SEC, the US regulator, currently remains unconvinced that the market infrastructure and transparency underpinning even the more mainstream cryptocurrencies – with the possible exception of Ripple – is sufficient to support them as mainstream investments.