Erik Weijers, 2 months ago

Elizabeth Warren wants to kill crypto

Elizabeth Warren is a US senator who as adopted a strategy of building an 'army' to defeat crypto. While her timing may be right - the crypto industry has faced some scandals - she seems to forget that a large part of the younger voter base owns crypto. 

Long-time senator Elizabeth Warren is known for her fierce anti-Wall Street stance. That's a cause that is shared with many crypto enthusiasts. But in the case of Warren the enemy of our enemy is not a friend. In an attempt to get reelected, the veteran politician has started to recruit conservative Senate Republicans to her anti-crypto cause. 

In a recent interview, she expresses the usual suspect arguments against crypto: it is for criminals, it's used to evade sanctions, it's all a bubble. She doesn't just want to regulate the industry: 'I think that world should be largely cut off.' 

What is clear is that Warren has forgotten to 'check her financial privilege'. For 3 billion people on the planet without access to bank accounts, crypto is the only way to be financially included in the online economy. And for younger people in the Western world, crypto is a way to build wealth as the traditional system has mostly favored the older generations. The boomer generation could still buy a home on one salary, but decades of the money printer going brrr has made that hard for the younger generation.

Will this backfire?

It may be the last time an American senate candidate can run on the promise to kill crypto. After all, around 20% of the US population owned some crypto in the end of 2021. If that percentage will grow further, who would vote for someone like Warren? A poll from February by Coinbase showed that 76% of the representative sample believed that “cryptocurrency and blockchain are the future.” What politician would fight that? Even though, granted, recently public sentiment is more negative.


In the past, incumbents have often attempted to ban new technologies. The Catholic Church proposed banning the printing press in the fifteenth century, for fear of losing the monopoly on distributing information. When cars were invented, the horse carriage industry lobbied against this filthy invention - true story! The US are the near monopolist of global money: the country issues the world reserve currency. So, while the United States are known for welcoming innovative technologies, it is notoriously hard for a monopolist to disrupt its own dominance. 

As the US will struggle with this dilemma, the crypto industry may partly move to greener pastures. Possibly Asia or the UK. It's a matter of regulatory arbitrage.

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