Will the U.S. Government Decide to Enter the Cryptocurrency Game?
If the U.S. Government decided to enter the cryptocurrency game, there could potentially be a way for everyone to get something they want. By leveraging America as a dominant player in the cryptocurrency game, a government-distributed coin could create wealth for America. Or at least that’s the theory behind the blog post by Silicon Valley investor and OpenAI co-chairman Sam Altman.
Those who loved cryptocurrency because it avoided governmental oversight might not be thrilled, however it is quite likely that more regulations will appear for cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology in the near future anyway, so getting the government involved in a mutually-beneficial arrangement is a much better option than regulating decentralized currencies into irrelevance.
Altman’s vision is of a system where every American, perhaps based on social security numbers, is given a set number of digital coins, which the government would be unable to inflate or otherwise tamper with. While this could be good for people already familiar with cryptocurrencies, it’s unlikely to scale and be relevant to the entire country.
Nevertheless, designing a virtual currency and accepting crypto wallets could be a good move for America on a practical level. The Federal Reserve allocated over $860M to create paper money in 2018, and that doesn’t even account for how much it costs to create coins, or the money lost because of (or spent enforcing actions against) counterfeit dollars and coins.
However, there are a few limitations still. As per the Pew Research Center one in four Americans still don’t have a smartphone and only 70 percent of Americans have access to broadband. Thus it’s unlikely that a national cryptocurrency would be able to work until everyone has cost effective and reliable access to both..
Although there are challenges, it’s possible that a nationally-endorsed cryptocurrency could work in the future and might even be a valuable and worthwhile investment for the federal government.
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