Former U.S. President Bill Clinton advocated for better regulation in the crypto industry earlier today. Clinton was speaking at Ripple’s Swell conference, which is taking place this week in San Francisco.
“You can’t apply [an] old regulatory regime to a new technology,” said Clinton to the crowd. “You end up killing the goose that laid the golden egg.”
Clinton then discussed his experience on the subject, including how his administration dealt with concerns over Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology. By carefully weighing the pros and cons of a new technology, Clinton claims we can create the best possible environment for that technology.
Clinton also discussed how important it is to democratize access to new technologies:
“The more you develop new technologies like blockchain…AI technologies, robotic technology…the more the disparity of access is going to be felt.”
Why Was Bill Clinton Speaking At A Crypto Event?
Bill Clinton hasn’t been a major figure in the crypto space. He hasn’t been outspoken about blockchain technology in the past. So why was he asked to speak at a major crypto event? How did Ripple get one of the world’s best-known former politicians to speak about crypto?
There’s an obvious connection between Clinton and Ripple. As pointed out by CoinDesk, one of Clinton’s advisors in the White House, Gene Sperling, now sits on Ripple’s Board of Directors.
Ripple’s Swell, meanwhile, has a history of attracting major names as headliners. Last year, Swell welcomed former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke as a speaker.
Clinton was joined on-stage by Sperling during his speech.
This isn’t the first time Bill Clinton has been connected to the world of crypto. In fact, Clinton is a long-term bitcoin hodler by today’s standards: the former U.S. president claims to have received his first bitcoin back in 2016.
Clinton was the headlining speaker at Ripple’s Swell event, which is scheduled to continue throughout the week. We’ve already had big announcements from the event. Earlier today, it was reported that three financial institutions have started using Ripple’s xRapid technology for commercial clients, marking the first commercial use of Ripple’s new protocol, which uses XRP to facilitate cheap, international money transfers.
Bill Clinton Discusses Crypto Challenges During Question And Answer Session
Following his headlining speech at Ripple’s Swell event, Clinton fielded questions from the audience.
Clinton and Sperling answered a range of questions about different topics. Participants asked about the cybersecurity challenges facing the American government, for example.
The discussion also branched outside of the world of crypto, touching on topics like gun control, foreign policy, and Clinton’s recently-published novel.
Clinton Advocates International Access, Smarter Regulations For Crypto And Blockchain Technology
In his speech, Clinton recommended facilitating global access to blockchain technology, saying that,
“…this whole blockchain deal has the potential it does only because it is applicable across national borders, income groups.”
This echoes the opinion of Satoshi Nakamoto in the bitcoin whitepaper, who wanted to bring a peer-to-peer version of electronic cash to the world. It also contradicts the opinions of some outspoken BTC supporters, who believe that BTC should be a medium of transfer only for the world’s elite who can afford the high transaction fees – not a cheap version of cash usable by people in developing countries.
“The permutations and possibilities are staggeringly great. But we could ruin it all by negative identity politics and economics and social policy.”
Ultimately, Clinton is warning us on the dangers of over-regulation of blockchain technology. His speech will be viewed favorably by those who believe the government is stifling innovation in the space. In fact, some are already calling Clinton’s speech one of the biggest speeches in cryptocurrency history.