Things are getting weird. Lloyd Blankfein, postulating on Bitcoin and how regulators are likely to react to its success in the future, suggested that shutting it down would be an option. Asked about Bitcoin, Blankfein was clearly dubious of the claim that the cryptocurrency served as a store of value – a common refrain amongst both retail and institution investors. He was none too keen on the notion of the crypto being a medium of exchange, even as various alt coins with lower market capitalization and volatility are used for just that in various parts of the world.
Blankfein’s misconceptions about Bitcoin and crypto generally seem to fall largely in line with those of some other high-powered (but less educated) Wall Street types. He indicated during the same interview that those dealing in Bitcoin have no way of knowing who the counterparties to their trades are, further suggesting that it could be enemy states such as North Korea and Iran. Blankfein also appeared to have implied that there is no way to monitor Bitcoin transactions, though the open nature of the blockchain is far and away more transparent than the behind-the-scenes moves made by traditional banks. Nonetheless, Blankfein’s old-guard mentality is going to be in play in certain corners of the Bitcoin regulation space now and in the future, so just because he’s wrong doesn’t mean he’s not right. Still, it would be amusing to see U.S. regulators try to shut down a worldwide currency/asset.