Nothing much has been going on the crypto space. This was due to what some would call the crypto winter. This started with the fall of price in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies followed suit. The effect of this so called winter is profound. With the fall in price, confidence among investors was greatly reduced which lead many early investors to flee. Also, with reduced confidence, new funds became scarce leading many projects and startups to shutdown. But recently, things have been picking up steam as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have started to pick up lost prices. Last week, many exciting events occured and it looks like crypto is finally entering spring.
Ethereum co-founder speaks at South Korean parliament
South Korea has been heavily restricting crypto and ICO activities over the past year, and even when some of the restrictions were lifted last year, the government’s stance was “blockchain not bitcoin”. This means that they are ready to embrace blockchain technology, while pushing away cryptocurrencies. While speaking to the government Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers asked the South Korean government to deregulate the blockchain industry. They felt that the current laws are overly restrictive which inhibit innovation while also driving startups abroad. Buterin was also quoted by News1 at the South Korean parliament saying, “Blockchain is a technology that can be run without cryptocurrencies, but there is no crypto without blockchain. Public blockchains rely heavily on cryptography. Therefore, cryptocurrencies are absolutely necessary.”
Lessons from the Crypto Winter
Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, Buterin and many industry leaders have been echoing the sentiment that the crypto winter was indeed a good event for the health of the whole industry. While it is true that many people have lost money and a lot of projects have shutdown, the rationale behind the crypto winter being a good thing is that it made the industry more robust and stronger. Buterin was quoted saying “The recent crypto scandals and market recession have [uncovered which projects] turned out to be scams and which projects are going to be sustainable”. Alexis also expressed similar sentiment “The speculators have fled and that’s great. Because the people who are now building on crypto are true believers. They’re actually building the infrastructure that it’s going to take to really make this happen.” This goes to show that there is still a strong community of true believers building this new technology.
Push for legislation in US and France
Some Lawmakers in both the United States and France are worried that their countries will be left out in the crypto race. This fear is not unfounded as currently the crypto industry is growing faster in Southeast Asia and East Asia. In order to prevent a situation where their respective countries are left out lawmakers are asking their governments to embrace crypto. Two MPs in France want the government to invest 500 million euros in blockchain related programmes in order to make France a blockchain nation. Whether this will happen due to the ongoing financial situation that France is facing is a big question. Also Emmanuel Macron, French prime Minister, is a trying to cut down the budget by all means, getting 500 million euros from his government will be nearly impossible. Meanwhile, in the US, a joint statement was released by Congressmen Darren Soto and Ted Budd in December 2018 which reads “Virtual currencies and the underlying blockchain technology has a profound potential to be a driver of economic growth. That’s why we must ensure that the United States is at the forefront.” The problem with getting any sort of legislation or support for crypto from governments is the fact that most lawmakers are completely unaware about this new industry. Educating lawmakers about this new technology would be the real first step.
Despite the Draconian law of South Korea, the crypto industry is currently experiencing a boom. Similarly, even throughout the winter, many new developments and projects came out proving the resilience of the industry as a whole. Like in all winters, only the fittest survived. The industry coming out of this is certainly stronger and better, and one can hence in fact say that crypto is finally entering its spring season in full bloom.
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