Ethereum founder and leading developer Vitalik Buterin has voiced his concerns about the crypto industry’s current state and how, in his opinion, it should not be pursuing preferential positions with institutional capital as it currently is.
According to Buterin, the ways in which crypto firms and projects pursue compliance with regulatory environments that benefit their own objectives may lead to the industry succumbing to the pitfalls of centralization.
At its core, crypto and blockchain technologies were designed to be resistant to centralized control, censorship, and state authority. This is one of the reasons why crypto’s beginnings can be traced to the cypherpunk movement from the late 1980s, in which privacy and security formed the cornerstones of a counterculture.
Regulation, as it were, appears to render the crypto industry more acceptable in terms of how financial institutions see crypto firms as legitimate entities, with cryptocurrencies themselves as an equally legitimate asset class.
Buterin claims that crypto firms shouldn’t be “pursuing large institutional capital at full speed. Buterin’s commentaries were made shortly after joining Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong in a podcast discussing related matters.
Buterin’s statements can also be seen as a tangential response to Sam Bankman-Fried’s own stand in terms of FTX’s regulatory vision. Bankman-Fried was criticized for his positions about regulatory sanctions related to decentralized finance, some of which required autonomous outfits to comply with U.S.-based rules.
This also included the status of crypto websites being required to register as “broker-dealers,” even while not all crypto applications or protocols operate in the exact same manner as broker-dealers.
To Buterin’s mind, the protection of consumer interests is important, and this should be paired with the goal of keeping the crypto industry a safe environment. Especially for those who might just be starting out. Buterin has highlighted the requirement of KYC or Know-Your-Customer policies towards decentralized finance protocols’ end-user interfaces. These same policies are implemented by financial institutions, especially in cases of AML (anti-money laundering) and fraud.
Buterin is of the position that there are other regulatory implementations that could be helpful, particularly for decentralized finance. This includes limits on the leverage level that a user can trade through, code audit regulations, and the requirement of knowledge-based tests.
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