Sanctions evasion just got harder, and crypto just got much less attractive.
As interesting as all this detail might be to some, from the beginning I thought crypto was a ponzi-like scam. It's unfortunate that millions have lost billions in the con. But the size of crypto generation's contribution to global warming is criminal.
If I wrote conspiracy thrillers instead of utopian science fiction, I'd write one about the Fossilista executive that came up with the scam to sell more coal generated electricity.
Crypto, the original dictionary meaning before the emergence of cryptocurrency: a person having a secret allegiance to a political creed, especially communism.
Hmm, secrecy and sneakiness, while using up huge amounts of energy, just to evade the global banking system to launder money, avoid taxes and oversight. What could go wrong?
When Anthony says "[the cost of crypto on-ramps] only matters to the extent that someone does not want to use cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange," he is being a little coy. The transaction fees for popular cryptocurrencies are very high. As of yesterday (2023-11-29) bitcoin transaction fees were 96.20 USD / tx. At 100 simoleons a pop, nobody is using that for day to day transactions. Decentralization, it turns out, is really expensive.
The way I see it, crypto never solved a practical problem that people actually had. Its genesis was in anarcho-capitalist ideology, and it only really caught on when people figured out ways to use it to evade various laws and regulations. The whole project was built on the fantasy that if they build a space in which there are no rules, the only people who will show up are people like them: otherwise nice people who just don't like paying taxes. Over the past decade that fantasy has run headlong into reality. It turns out that we have all of those rules for a reason, and many of the people who want to evade them are not very nice at all.
Bizarrely, none of this has affected the market value of cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, which has risen strongly since the most recent scandals. Sanctions evasion was the last remaining use case, and now it seems to be gone. But, presumably there are still people coming into the market in numbers large enough to replace those leaving.
The interesting but presently unanswered question is how many whales will need to be caught before crypo-currency loses it's appeal to sanction busters? I don't know anything near enough about finance to make a guess on that but it does seem to me that the big whales seem to be reasonably easily caught/tamed. Perhaps they can't afford stables of expensive lawyers in the way that regular banks can.
I've seen many crypto accounts on Twitter begging for the government to step in and protect them from rapacious rip off artists.
But I thought the whole draw of crypto was because it was unregulated!