Tech billionaire Tim Draper, an avowed bitcoin bull, says Switzerland is losing its status as a cryptocurrency haven amid escalating regulatory crackdowns on initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Draper, who set a $250,000 bitcoin price target for 2022, made the remarks at the Crypto ICO Summit in Zurich.
“You [Switzerland] had the tiger by the tail, everyone was going to do their ICOs through you, and all you had to do was make it easier for everybody,” Draper admonished (via SwissInfo). “Instead, the regulatory bodies got in there. They made it tougher. They put more and more barriers up so people went to Singapore and Gibraltar and Cayman and to other places.”
Draper added that Switzerland flubbed a huge opportunity to become a cryptocurrency and ICO hub by caving into government regulators.
“Switzerland had an enormous opportunity and I think they have lost their opportunity. If you have heavy regulation, you lose your business. Maybe they can bring it back by being more regulatory light. Governments now have to compete for us. We can move, we can go from country to country.”
In February 2018, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) unveiled guidelines on ICOs, where it said it will treat ICOs on a case-by-case basis, reiterated its confidence in the innovative potential of blockchain technology, and vowed to crack down on money-laundering and cryptocurrency scams.
Despite Tim Draper’s dire protestations, it’s unlikely that crypto investors will abandon Switzerland altogether since it is more lax when it comes to financial regulation than other major cryptocurrency hubs.
Draper also slapped California, saying crypto investors and other businesses are fleeing the state due to its high taxes, terrible government, crumbling infrastructure, and substandard educational system.
Meanwhile, Draper made headlines last week after setting a $250,000 bitcoin price target for 2022. Draper has a fairly good track record with bitcoin price predictions.
In 2014, Draper famously purchased 30,000 bitcoins at auction for $600 a token. Using today’s bitcoin price of roughly $8,300, that stash is now worth a jaw-dropping $249 million.
While Tim Draper is known for making flamboyant predictions because he’s utterly convinced of bitcoin’s potential, even crypto skeptics like JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon (who once called bitcoin “a fraud”) are confident about the innovative applications of blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin. As with any new trend, time will be the ultimate arbiter.