In these days where everything is politicized, crypto and blockchain are no exception. This we already know. But the political divide in America is starting to crystalize, and action is being taken.
“A group of renowned technologists has joined forces to urge US lawmakers to crack down on the burgeoning cryptocurrencies industry,” begins the Financial Times, May 31, “…26 leading computer scientists and academics who have signed a letter delivered to US lawmakers heavily criticising crypto investments and blockchain technology.”
For a variety of justifications (concerns with blockchain regarding the environment, socio-economics, diversity & inclusion, etc.) this letter is a product of those on the Progressive side of the political aisle. It’s unfortunate the issue has taken this left/right political formation, as so many of the attributes of blockchain and crypto are progressive. But it’s simply how things have shaken out in such polarized times.
It is good there is pushback against an industry largely unregulated and indeed infected with scams. So we listen to criticisms, appreciate shortcomings being called out, and respect the desire for more safety and security. Much of the criticism, however, seems not to be from a desire to be helpful but from a desire to attack and are often broad-brushed, extreme, and even detached from reality.
“We strongly disagree with the narrative,” the letter states, “… that these [blockchain] technologies represent a positive financial innovation and are in any way suited to solving the financial problems facing ordinary Americans.”
One doesn’t need to look hard to find artists benefiting from NFTs or first generation Americans using blockchain tech to send remittance payments back to family.
The letter goes on to describe blockchain as a technology that “will remain forever unsuitable as a foundation for large-scale economic activity.”
This absolutist language aligns with other extreme critical perspectives, wherein even attempts from the blockchain industry to overcome a lack of diversity & inclusion are subject to scrutiny.
“This pride, be wary of web3 projects reaching out to the LGBTQ+ community in the language of inclusion…,” a critic warns.
Regarding environmental concerns, the latest is a potential big swing from the President himself. Published just this morning, Bitcoin Magazine states: “The Biden admin is preparing policy to reduce Bitcoin’s energy consumption.”
None of this should deter our activity in this industry. If we maintain intentions that are true and good, we have nothing to fear and reason to be proud. Ever since Bitcoin gained traction, everyone who understood the magnitude of this technology also understood it wouldn’t fully blossom without many others putting up a fight. Though this fight is evermore motivated politically, we recognize the technology and its societal advancements are apolitical and available to all.
Indeed, wider distribution and access to benefits is what blockchain technology is all about.