Former U.S. president Bill Clinton warned against the dangers of over-regulating blockchain — the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies like bitcoin — saying too much regulation could kill the “goose that laid the golden egg.”
Clinton made the remarks during a surprise appearance at Ripple’s 2018 Swell cryptocurrency conference in San Francisco on October 1.
“There needs to be an intelligent effort to identify the downsides [of this technology,]” Clinton said, as reported by CoinDesk. “With the blockchain or whatever, you don’t want money-laundering, you don’t want…scams. But you end up killing the goose that laid the golden egg [with over-regulation].”
He added: “You don’t want consumer fraud, you don’t want to finance criminal enterprises, and you certainly don’t want to make it easier to pull off severe attacks by terrorists. That’s the challenge of each new technology.”
It’s unclear what the former president was doing at the financial technology conference, where he spent most of his time on stage reminiscing about his presidency and promoting his new book.
Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, is apparently a Clinton fan, and smiled broadly while sharing the stage with him at the event (photo below).
Hillary Clinton Was Not A Bitcoin Fan
It’s unclear what Bill Clinton’s stance is on virtual currencies, but he’s impressed with blockchain, the revolutionary technology undergirding bitcoin.
Bill’s wife, Hillary Clinton, refused to accept bitcoin donations for her 2016 presidential campaign.
In contrast, Republican Senator Rand Paul did accept bitcoin campaign contributions when he ran for president in 2016, CCN reported.
@BillClinton at #SwellbyRipple talks about the importance of enabling innovation. Wishes we had increased broadband access early on, proud of opening up GPS tech despite security risks to enable new services. Lessons for fintech and blockchain regulation! pic.twitter.com/XkjJiCLeed— Susan Athey (@Susan_Athey) October 1, 2018
Bill Clinton said blockchain is a disruptive technology because it’s borderless and its potential applications are almost endless.
“This whole blockchain deal has the potential it does only because it is applicable across national borders [and] income groups,” he said. “The permutations and possibilities are staggeringly great.”
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse is a vocal proponent of more regulation for the cryptocurrency market.
“I hope there’s more regulation,” Garlinghouse told Bloomberg in February 2018 (video below). “If we want this whole asset class to grow up and mature, of course there should be more regulation.”
Brad Garlinghouse Favors More Regulation
Garlinghouse said he understands why some bitcoin enthusiasts want the cryptocurrency industry to remain unregulated and decentralized, but he said having formal regulations will help legitimize the emerging asset class.
“Some of the bitcoin community come from that kind of anarchistic, libertarian view,” Garlinghouse said. “But one reason why I think Ripple has been very successful is because we work with the system.”
Meanwhile, Republican Congressmen are leading the pro-cryptocurrency charge in Washington, D.C., as the Inquisitr previously reported.
Last week, 12 Republicans and two Democrats sent a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Jay Clayton, urging the SEC to spell out to investors how exactly it plans to regulate crypto.
Experts say clear regulatory guidelines will promote the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies by ridding the space of scam artists.
“The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth,” said Congressman Tom Emmer, the co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus.