Speaking during a recent discussion on Joe Rogan’s The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Altman expressed concern over the way regulators in the U.S. have gone in trying to regulate the crypto industry.
The Worldcoin CEO believes the government’s approach only suggests that it has a hidden agenda to dominate the entire crypto industry.
“The recent actions of the U.S. government, especially their aggressive stance on crypto, deeply saddens me. It feels like there’s an underlying intent to dominate and control the crypto space,” Altman said.
The U.S. securities and exchange commission (SEC) has been aggressively pursuing regulation of the crypto industry. While this is a welcome development, the actual steps taken by the regulator have raised concerns recently.
Through its chair Gary Gensler, the SEC says that crypto assets are securities, but this has been widely debated.
Because of this belief, the agency has dragged two major crypto exchanges – Coinbase and Binance – to court over allegations of securities laws violations, and still threatens to drag more firms to court.
Overreaching Surveillance Concerns
In addition to concerns about the SEC’s approach to crypto regulation, Altman also expressed concern on the potential of the government to take regulation to an extreme level.
Specifically, he spoke on the idea of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which has become popular around the world and is starting to gain traction in the U.S.
Altman views a CBDC as a tool that could be abused to enhance state control over individual financial freedoms.
There are ongoing deliberations on whether a CBDC should be issued or not, with the Republican lawmakers being vehemently against it because of similar concerns as those that Altman has.
Democrats on the other hand believe a CBDC is a good idea to keep the U.S. ahead in terms of financial innovation, especially now that many financial institutions are seeking to create their own CBDCs.
CBDC and Crypto Regulation
As regulators around the world continue to find ways of regulating cryptocurrencies, CBDCs are part of the solution they seek.
However, like Altman, there are many who have reservations about CBDCs, mainly because they are programmable and transactions are 100% traceable.
In Brazil for instance, it was discovered that the CBDC gives the central bank the power to seize users’ funds whenever it wants to.
The government however claimed it only wishes to bring financial inclusion and fight crime by using traceability of CBDC to track criminals. With such discoveries, it isn’t hard to see why the public remains skeptical about CBDCs.