Right from its inception with Bitcoin, the whole idea that is behind the cryptocurrency world is one that does not sit well with authorities and governments the world over. This is an industry that was born out of the belief that the present financial systems all over the world are inherently corrupt and do much harm to the way value is created and stifle the free flow of business. The core belief of the cryptocurrency faithful is that most if not all centralized systems are too rotten to redeem and as such must be replaced with no delay with decentralized systems where users have the freedom to determine their fates and have equal say on what affects their financial system.
This very narrow view of the established systems has always been one that has struck a negative cord with governments all over the world who view the industry as anarchic in nature that could destabilize whole economies. And for just over 8 years now, the cryptocurrency world has evaded being brought under the direct control of governments as there is either no feasible way of doing so, or that the consensus needed by the whole world for any action to have a real effect is just not there
The cryptocurrency world is one that elicits a lot of different emotions from individuals as well as countries and those who govern them. One of the key reasons why the industry remains virtually ungoverned so far is the fact that there is no single agreed opinion shared by authorities around the world on the issue.
Some such as China and South Korea have taken a really negative posture on the industry, where China for example sometime last year banned all new ICOs from being hosted within its territory and also forced its biggest exchanges to close shop and relocate off Mainland China. Others like neighboring Japan are much more welcoming to the new digital assets, going as far as formally announcing that Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies can be legally accepted as means of exchange for goods and services within the country.
Causes for Friction
One of the major causes of friction between governments and the cryptocurrency world especially in 2017 is the pervading spread of ICOs all over the world. These new unregulated crowdfunding means with which cryptocurrency and blockchain startups raised tens billions of dollars this year came under a lot of scrutiny because a lot of them turned out to be pure scams, where users were misled into buying tokens which later turned out to be nothing more than a pump and dump scheme.
As we enter 2018, a lot of speculation is on whether this will be the year in which will see that long predicted showdown between world government and the cryptocurrency universe. Some have point to China’s ban along with South Korea on trade of cryptocurrency and ICO might just a curtain raiser with much more severe action to come in force as the year progress. On the other hand, cryptocurrency proponents say that any kind clampdown by any government will only have very limited and temporary effect on the industry. The sheer computational power that is needed to enforce any clampdown on any single blockchain is just not owned or controlled by any single entity on earth. And as the computer networks that make up the different blockchains of different crypto outfits are spread around the world, nothing short of an absolute consensus of world governments will create the slightest problems or disrupt the blockchain industry. A consensus that is only as possible as finding a Unicorn in some jungle on the planet.
Whatever might happen in the year to come, there is one thing that remains certain, that the blockchain industry is here to stay with us for good, as the mulling over the idea of creating state owned digital currencies by countries as far as China, Russia and the UK point to the fact that even though the authorities around the world don’t necessarily like cryptocurrencies, the grudge is with the outfits that reign supreme on them and not the technology.