Elon Musk is calling on US authorities to hold off on any plans to regulate the cryptocurrency. Musk fears that any attempts to regulate the currency will only limit its growth moving forward.
Speaking during an interview at the Code Conference in Los Angeles, Musk argued that, while it's not possible to "destroy crypto" at the moment, governments could still do a lot to slow down the growth of the popular digital currency.
The SpaceX CEO was responding to a question by New York Times columnist Kara Swisher who sought to know what governments could do to regulate cryptocurrency.
As part of the response, Musk was quick assertive in the way he sees a thing. He simply urged governments to do absolutely nothing and just let these currencies “fly.” Despite this, it is clear that the US government is on the path towards more regulation on the crypto industry.
Gary Gensler, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has been pushing for more crypto regulation in recent years calling the industry a “wild west” market. Gensler says that unless there are some meaningful regulations on crypto, they could lose public trust in the long run. There are also key players in the crypto market who believe regulation could be a good thing as it will give investors more clarity and protection.
In fact, Coinbase, one of the leading crypto exchanges in the world, is working on a mock regulatory framework that it hopes to present to authorities. There have also been calls to build crypto regulations around existing anti-money laundering and fraud laws. The aim is to make crypto a safer, more trustworthy currency. But Musk sees it differently. The Tesla CEO feels that there is still so much to come from crypto.
Nonetheless, Musk didn’t seem upbeat about the disruptive prospects of digital currency. During the interview, the SpaceX CEO argued that while there is a lot of value in digital currency, they are not as big as some people believe. In fact, Musk noted that cryptos, even for their value, are not “like the second coming of the Messiah.”
Musk's comments come after authorities in China announced far-reaching regulations on digital currency, including a blanket ban. The Chinese government has also banned all forms of crypto mining in the country. Until the ban, China was one of the biggest crypto mining countries.
Many analysts believe that the move could inspire other governments across the world to impose tighter controls on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Musk is himself a big investor in Bitcoin and has always publicly backed the digital currency.
Early this year, the Tesla CEO noted that his company had in fact invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin. Musk also noted that Tesla was going to accept cryptocurrency as payment for its cars. However, Tesla reversed course just three months later, citing increased systemic risks on crypto payments. But despite these setbacks, Bitcoin continues to soar to new heights.