2021-07-28 18:40:58

‘Double-edged sword’ for regulators cracking down on crypto: Ethereum co-founder

As the co-founder of the Ethereum network, Anthony Di Iorio has been immersed in the cryptocurrency sector for 10 years now. But regulators playing catch up to entrepreneurs must strike a fine balance, he said.

“It’s a double-edged sword,” said Di Iorio in a broadcast interview. “Do we clampdown [on cryptocurrencies] because of what we’re seeing? But if we do that we have the potential of losing out on jobs and having leaders in this space.”

Di Iorio announced earlier this week that he intends to exit the cryptocurrency world, predominantly due to personal safety concerns, and instead focus on philanthropy.

The Canadian entrepreneur’s exit from the volatile and nascent – at least from a regulatory perspective – sector, comes as the debate over Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ legitimacy rages on, and as more and more companies and even some Latin American countries, such as El Salvador, formally adopt crypto payments.

Governments and regulators should be working closely with industry leaders and entrepreneurs to build their regulations, said Di Iorio, not trying to quash them.

“This is a movement that’s not going to stop,” he said, stressing the importance of education when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

“It’s different country to country, but the ones that understand [crypto] and know where things are going will be the ones who come out of this better. The country’s that figure out are the ones that are going to improve their economies, get more jobs.”

Di Iorio was asked about recent price swings for Bitcoin, in particular, the most popular and valuable digital coin in the world, and said it’s disappointing to see some influential leaders pumping up the asset for what he called their own amusement.

“A number of people potentially have the ability to create massive amounts of change,” said Di Iorio, referencing Tesla Chief Executive Officer and outspoken crypto enthusiast Elon Musk. “I’m just really wishing that their energy is going to be focused around educating people, and not having fun with something that’s so important.”

In February, Tesla disclosed a US$1.5 billion purchase of Bitcoin which sparked a frenzy for digital assets. Bitcoin peaked at just over US$63,000 in April. But the coin and its peers have been under pressure, and have swung wildly since, with Bitcoin falling as low as US$30,000 in early July.

“It’s very important for people to understand this movement and where it’s going.” said Di Iorio.

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