Senator Elizabeth Warren calls for stricter crypto regulation to protect small investors
- Warren: The big guys take advantage of there being no rules
- Digital currency can go mainstream because of "extraordinarily low" transaction costs
- People are buying Bitcoin as an inflation hedge because the government is spending too much
Senator Elizabeth Warren discussed crypto regulation, protecting the “small guys”, the future of crypto, and the risk of government-abetted inflation in an interview on CNBC‘s “Squawk Box.” When asked whether the cryptocurrency sector needed more regulation and if the question was analogical to that of whether we should have regulated the internet more in the 90s, Senator Warren said:
“I don’t want to wait until a whole lot of small investors and traders have been wiped out. I think rules of the road that are there at the beginning give people a lot of confidence and the bad actors know someone is watching out.
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“Squawk Box” co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin played devil’s advocate, “You’re not protecting the small guy by regulating the industry, you’re protecting the big players. Small guys want the freedom to invest in what they want.” In response, Senator Warren insisted she didn’t want the big guys being able to “pump and dump” and defraud people:
“The question is not just regulation, but how it’s aimed. Who takes advantage of there being no rules? It’s the big guys. When there’s no cop on the beat? The big guys.”
The future of crypto
The host asked if the senator believed in crypto as an idea, whether it has a future, and if it could disrupt the finance industry in a positive way. In response, she drew attention to big banks’ failure to attract consumers across the country. She believes digital currency may be an answer there because the costs are extraordinarily low for being able to transact and maybe that will be a way going forward. She was referring to getting more people into the system who are currently unbanked or underbanked and underserved.
Buying coins as an inflation hedge
Many people are buying Bitcoin (BTC/USD) as an inflation hedge because they believe the government is spending too much. The senator addressed this concern by encouraging people not to assume that what’s happening with crypto is happening in a void, completely independent of everything else, including traditional financial markets. She added:
“What’s more, coins can have their own inflationary pressures (although) they may come from a different source (than the government).”