LETTERS: What protections may be ahead for crypto? It’s up to the people

Editor: We cannot go a day without hearing about Bitcoin, which is the best-known cryptocurrency and the most popular form of digital currency. Cryptocurrency transactions are public, irreversible, nearly un-hackable, and controlled by the people.

Thus, making it a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System or simply put, a way for individuals to control their own money with limited influence of governmental regulations. This allows lower transactional cost/fees and making it easier to send money to anyone, across states, international borders and poorer parts of the world. Bitcoin advocates say it could help facilitate financial inclusion of 1.7 billion unbanked people throughout the world.

Bitcoin is rapidly gaining adoption and has risen in value for over a decade now. We all read about the squid coin that manipulated and scammed investors of millions of dollars. These types of scams are prevalent and reoccurring on a constant basis. Up to this point, the crypto-era has been a wild west of Darwinism and Machiavellian-like. Currently in CoinGecko, there are over 800 unregulated cryptocurrencies jockeying into position to be the next big hit. With the increase in popularity, interests, and scams tied to cryptocurrency, a recent Purple Report on Bitcoin found that 71% of people surveyed in America, support stricter regulations.

The November Purple Report, measured awareness, attitudes, and impressions of industry-specific environmental, social, governance or ESG practices, standards, and policies among different populations on Bitcoin specifically. Below, we highlighted some interesting findings (with a margin of error of +/- 4% at the 95% confidence interval):

• 64% are likely to purchase or invest in Bitcoin with more federal regulation and guidance
• 72% are concerned about Bitcoin being used for illicit activities
• 68% are familiar with Bitcoin
• 46% are already investing in Bitcoin
• 75% believe that Bitcoin will eventually be accepted as a form of payment

Reminiscence of the gold rush, mining for Bitcoin is the modern-day digital version. Interestingly, 78% of the respondents felt that it is important to mine for Bitcoin using renewable energy. 49% say Bitcoin exchanges and Bitcoin mining companies should be required to disclose their environmental, social responsibility, and corporate governance practices to all stakeholders. This Purple Report clearly shows public support for more transparency and accountability when mining for Bitcoin.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency are intangible and tied to faith. One cannot physically hold any cryptocurrency and just like the Greek Mythological Gods, value ceases to exist when faith is lost. One can argue that all currency falls into the same philosophical belief. As the saying goes, perception is reality. The reality is that more and more people, businesses, and governments are accepting Bitcoin. The general public are increasingly seeing the value of Bitcoin and believe that digital currency is here to stay. Many say that with more regulation, they would likely invest some of their retirement savings in this form of cryptocurrency. And, as Bitcoin seemingly continues its journey into the mainstream, people are asking for more protection for these investments.

What’s next? The people will decide.

— Kenny Yoo and Ryan Frazier, via [email protected]

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