OverStock’s Patrick Byrne Says Bitcoin Is Great For Communicating And Transacting Without Central Institutions
It's not easy to admit when a new system of doing things, like blockchain and Bitcoin, allows people to do something that many of these companies started off being. But the CEO of Overstock, Patrick Byrne, has been discussing the regulation of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in an exclusive interview with Noami Brockwell on Youtube this week.
In the interview, the CEO began by expressing his concerns about the very particular threats that the country might well face in the foreseeable future. Along with that, he continued on to talk about the current anti-laundering systems that exist through things like KYC and AML, which are being implemented to some extent by leading cryptocurrency exchange platforms across the world.
He also made it clear that these policies are not meant to be something to be dismissed out of hand. He continued on to add that these policies are to be put in place for a reason; arguing:
“We can take blockchain to the point where it really becomes anonymous. If you do that, there is going to be a lot of criminals and dangerous kind of people […] could e used for by bad actors to evade legitimate law enforcement.”
Byrne went on to state that he otherwise ‘loves' the idea of Bitcoin among other cryptocurrencies due to their natural habitat as decentralized and anonymous system. On the other hand, he doesn't really want people like Kim Jong-un being able to move money around the world, all without being spotted because of his bad intentions.
When it comes to the regulations and perspectives on blockchain technology, the CEO didn't hesitate in giving his opinions on whether or not governments are getting worse when it comes to their grip over technology. Governments, the CEO argued, may very well put blockchain to work for otherwise underhanded purposes.
He said there will be government surveillance as the world gets more digitized. Byrne added:
“We crypto anarchists want to remake society out of this technology. Is that going to work? Can we have an authoritarian state [China] own the underlying technology? That scares the hell out of me. If the underlying technology to our crypto revolution is made in China, it means ultimately Xi Jinping contrails the world.”
Byrne went on to discuss some of the main barriers Bitcoin is facing in order to become a mainstream force, whether this is in the shape of social barriers, technology or governmental impediments. One of the things he argued that there are is, in fact a series of social barriers, all of which interpose themselves between active users of Bitcoin, and the mainstream.
The most common stigma of the cryptocurrency is that people believe that it used for ecstasy or other drugs dealing, he said, however, the US dollar is also used for the same purpose.
When it comes to the opinion of the government to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, the CEO argued that they're in the process of “getting comfortable” with Bitcoin. He goes on to suggest that the western governments have only begun to understand that Bitcoin can't be stopped as an innovative force. On the other hand, in the more totalist government, such as the People's Republic of China, have reached the conclusion that if Bitcoin were not stopped, then within less than a generation, its regime would be done.
“So they have done a lot in the last nine months to it [Bitcoin]. They understand the power of blockchain but I think they’re quite afraid of the cryptocurrency movement. It gives people a way to communicate and do things outside of central institutions.”