Locks are only for honest people. If a thief really wants to steal something, a padlock doesn’t present much of an obstacle.
I learned this the hard way as a child, after having several bicycles and other similar things stolen, often right out of my own backyard behind a seven-foot wall, and that was in a nice neighborhood.
It’s kind of the same with regulations. As any gun rights advocate will gladly inform you, making it harder for honest people to acquire firearms doesn’t necessarily impede criminals from getting them in any way.
This doesn’t mean that locks and laws are completely useless, they’re certainly effective in guiding honest people. But the question that often comes up, especially among advocates of a decentralized future, is how much regulation is good?
Among the pure libertarians of course, the answer is minimal. Many have no doubt been disgruntled by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for their role in crashing the ICO party in early 2018, setting off an 18-month crypto winter.
But, it was effective in reigning in an industry that, due to lack of regulation, was bustling with scams and schemes. More recently, virtual cheers were heard when U.S. authorities brought criminal charges against BitMEX.
The announcement this week from The Financial Conduct Authority banning the sale of crypto derivatives to retail consumers in the U.K. was met with mixed emotions.
On the one hand, derivatives are the secret sauce that enabled BitMEX to operate 100X leverage in the first place. On the other, derivatives also enable other cool things many of which are hardly illicit.
As one founder mentioned to me in private, the FCA’s actions may very well discourage people from working within the law in the first place and drive a larger wedge between the world of traditional finance and those advocating a decentralized future.
In a recent document published by the Vatican, Pope Francis, of whom I consider myself a fan despite being of a different faith, stressed the need for new global regulation, claiming that the current system failed us in the wake of the 2008 crisis and disproportionately served the rich.
His point of view has been confirmed by recent data from the Federal Reserve regarding the response to the current crisis, which shows that the wealth gap in the United States has now reached a despicable new record.
I’d like to thank the people of Media Shower for tagging me in several social media posts about the pope’s recent words, which have been largely underreported by the media, and I’d like to encourage everyone to read the section on International Power at this link.
The fact is, as the pope points out, the nation states are now ceding power to transnational corporations.
Not that they’re not doing their job to the best of their ability, but their ability is being impaired, as is evident from a Federal Open Market Committee press release warning Citigroup that they’ll need to revise their risk practices.
Reading the actual enforcement letter, it was clear to me that this would be resolved in a way that benefits Citi, and it only became public knowledge because they were pushing their luck to begin with.
To be perfectly straight with you, I’m not really sure where to stand on this issue.
As someone who is currently registered and licensed by the European regulatory authorities, my thoughts are that there isn’t much need to start from the ground up and that it is possible to work within the system in order to improve it.
Of course, that approach hasn’t been incredibly fruitful to date.