On a recent trip to Central America, Luke Stokes, Managing Director of the Foundation for Interwallet Operability, found that Honduras, Panama, and El Salvador each used built-in ID card systems that used QR codes. In El Salvador, the majority of the population went from having no banking in the recent past, to the majority being fully enabled with commerce via Bitcoin wallets they received from the government.
The trip only confirmed his belief that crypto and related new-generation technologies are being adopted by individuals and institutions around the world at an exponential rate.
Michael Bodley, Editor of Roundtable Crypto, notes a related shift in the way crypto markets function.
“Volumes are way up. It's obviously been a bull market and institutions are either in it or they're going to be left behind,” Bodley says. “There was a recent study by Fidelity Digital Assets that found that 70% of institutional investors said that they would allocate to crypto within the next year or so, which is kind of a phenomenal figure if you think about it.”
Bodley also notes that when legislators discuss crypto, they usually don’t have a full grasp of the subject. However, recently, two senators who are well-versed in cryptocurrency have proposed an amendment to President Biden’s infrastructure bill that would narrow the definition of who qualifies as a broker.
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“Right now, under the bill, when it comes to cryptocurrency, a broker could be someone providing a wallet—perhaps, it might be a developer working on a blockchain. It might be a crypto mining operation, as opposed to a regular broker, like you think of Coinbase, like an exchange, right? It's facilitating these transactions. They're trying to narrow the scope of that because the argument is, if it's too broad, it could harm crypto markets and adoption in the space,” Bodley says.
Stokes says that when you start limiting the ability to write software, then you enter the category of impacting free speech which is a “very dangerous precedent to set.”
“This is a very dangerous precedent to set where you can't take your own ideas, put them in software as open-source, and put them out to the world to use. In any way, you're going to be penalized for doing so,” Stokes says. “I just think this is not what this country is founded on. This is not how we can thrive with open conversations and open experimentation.”
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