- The US government should “do nothing” when it comes to regulating cryptocurrencies, Elon Musk said on Tuesday.
- “I don’t think it’s like the second coming of the Messiah that some people seem to think,” he said.
- China has banned crypto because the country doesn’t like its goal of reducing the power of centralization, he said.
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Elon Musk said he thinks U.S. authorities should stay away from regulating cryptocurrencies as their intervention could put a brake on growth.
“I think it is not possible to destroy crypto, but it is possible for governments to slow down its development,” he said in an interview at the Code Conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
New York Times columnist Kara Swisher asked Musk what the US government should do to regulate the industry.
“I would say do nothing,” he said, adding, “just let it fly.”
Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, has advocated greater oversight of the “Wild West” digital asset market.
And unlike Musk, some leaders in the crypto industry believe that tighter controls will be beneficial as it gives investors more clarity and protection. Coinbase is preparing to present a regulatory framework to authorities, while billionaire investor Mark Cuban has acknowledged that crypto regulation built on existing fraud laws is not a bad thing.
Musk, who co-founded the payment service provider PayPal in 1999, told Swisher that he hopes that cryptocurrencies will reduce “errors and latency” in the established financial system. But he was measured in his hopes of the difference they might make.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m a massive cryptocurrency expert,” he said. “Cryptocurrency has some value. I don’t think it’s like the second coming of the Messiah that some people seem to think.”
The Tesla CEO also spoke about China making crypto-related transactions illegal and cracking down on crypto mining. He suggested that the recent ban was due to the Communist Party’s concerns that digital assets threaten its influence.
“It seems they don’t love cryptocurrencies,” he said. “I suppose cryptocurrency is essentially aimed at reducing the power of a centralized government, and they don’t like that. That is my guess. “
The energy crisis in China may have contributed to the government imposing tougher measures, Musk said.
“I think some of this could actually be due to electricity shortages in many parts of China,” he said. “Many southern China are currently experiencing random power outages because the electricity demand is higher than expected.”
Billionaire Tesla CEO announced in February that the electric vehicle maker had staked $ 1.5 billion on Bitcoin and would accept the cryptocurrency as payment for cars. But just three months later, Tesla withdrew its decision and stopped accepting Bitcoin payments because of its energy-intensive environmental impact.
The “musk effect” had shaken the crypto ecosystem earlier this year when almost every related tweet from the Tesla boss either skyrocketed or dropped token prices. Swisher asked him if he thought the impact of his tweets on crypto prices was a good one.
“If it goes up, I suppose,” said Musk.
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