Crypto Policy Symposium - London: September ‘22

Crypto Policy Symposium - London: September ‘22

Written by
Date published
September 30, 2022

"If the sky is blue, but a coiner says the sky is orange, what's the point of having a debate."Well, the Crypto Policy Symposium, the first symposium organised by crypto-sceptics, was a big disappointment.

Here are my thoughts, and why crypto is not a scam🧵


1/ The Crypto Policy Symposium argued one side of the coin: that crypto is a scam and a scam only.

2/ The sceptics say it's clear how society should respond:

“There's only one sensible answer to crypto — it needs to be destroyed,” as Stephen Diehl, one of the organisers behind the event, said recently.

3/ That’s a short-sighted view. Looking at industry-building products for consumers that are ten times faster, cheaper, and better than existing alternatives, crypto has already proved its unique value. Here are only some of these use-cases:

4/ 1. Censorship-resistanceUsers can own digital assets in a censorship-resistant environment. Governments cannot freeze assets in non-custodial wallets.

5/ Given the 40-year record-breaking inflation in the US, it is striking to realise the USD monetary base has grown by 60% since the onset of the Covid-pandemic.

6/ An immutable, disinflationary reserve currency such as Bitcoin prevents the government from printing money out of thin air and levying the inflation tax on people’s savings.

7/ 2. Capital-flightFor people in developing countries, the USD remains the lesser of two evils. Stablecoins are their way of efficiently accessing the US Dollar.

8/ Critical advantages US-pegged stablecoins solve are “it’s hard currency, easier to store than cash, not prone to banks’ failures, [and] can be used to generate yield,” Maxim Ermilov, the founder of Overnight, states.

9/ 3. Sovereignty

Digital assets are borrowed and loaned in a transparent and trust-minimised manner in DeFi, in stark contrast to the recent blowup of Celsius or the infamous downfall of Lehman Brothers.

10/ 4. Dapps

Dapps such as Render Network, which renders your favourite Netflix and YouTube videos using your computer's spare GPU capacity, are already outcompeting centralised competitors.

11/ 5. Capital-formation

Using crypto-economics incentives Helium has been able to set up a telecoms network for IoT devices that covers the USA, Europe and eastern China in less than two years.

12/ Critics say there hasn't been demand for Helium's IoT network, which is true.

Getting such a network up and running is the remarkable feat here.

Helium is now focused on 5G, where the consumer demand is straightforward.

13/ The above products are “10x” better on quantifiable metrics, setting aside the social-political aspirations to cut out the rent-seeking middleman.

14/ Piggybacking on the actual innovation are plenty of scammers and fraudsters who try to taint the public narrative. It’s the people behind these efforts who are illicit, illegitimate and immoral.

15/ The same types of folks have used other parts of the internet to run financial Ponzi schemes, bank-account phishing and lottery scams.

Crypto, like the internet itself, provides a neutral technical framework; humans can use the tech both for good and evil.

16/ The nascent movement, still lacking sensible regulation, is being misused for illicit activities, even as the wider crypto community is hustling to provide better and fairer financial products for the world.

17/ Rather than talking past each other, it’s time for a mature and proper debate. But the Symposium’s organisers were not interested in that.

18/ The stakes are high: if the sceptics are right, policymakers and the public should take all necessary action to prevent the “infectious disease” from spreading further.

19/ However, crypto has substance in providing 10x better products and its ecosystem should be cultivated strongly. Sceptics and policy makers, we need to talk.

20/ While I disagree with most views put forward by crypto-sceptics, in the spirit of an open debate I do encourage you to follow and engage with them on Twitter, and see for yourself.Some acc:

Thanks to @yb_effect and @coolnothankyou for feedback + edits!