In an open letter, computer scientists and technology experts such as the well-known cryptographer Bruce Schneier called on US politicians not to be influenced by lobbying efforts from the cryptocurrency industry. “We urge you to resist the pressure of the financiers, lobbyists and drivers of the digital money industry and not to create a safe haven for these risky, flawed and little-tested financial instruments,” reads the letter, which was also published online and was signed by 26 people.
“The claims made by the blockchain proponents are false,” said Bruce Schneier. “It’s not secure, it’s not decentralized. Any system where you forget your password and lose all your savings isn’t secure.” In addition to Schneier, Mozilla co-founder Jamie Zawinski, former AWS Vice President Tim Bray and German computer scientist Jürgen Geuter, also known as “aunt”, also signed the letter.
The cryptocurrency lobby is growing
Lobbying spending by cryptocurrency firms in the United States has increased significantly in recent years, according to a study by consumer rights organization Public Citizen released in March. For example, the number of professional lobbyists per cryptocurrency nearly tripled from 2018 to 2021 – from 115 to 320. Annual spending quadrupled, from $2.2 million in 2018 to $9 million in 2021 The cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and the platform Ripple Labs are among the largest payers for political influence. Unlike in Germany, lobbyists in the USA have to register in a public register.
Blockchain proponents argue, among other things, that cryptocurrencies allow for greater financial privacy, provide protection against inflation, and allow the unbanked to access financial services more easily.
Disaster for privacy, gift for money launderers
The authors and signers of the letter are apparently not convinced. They advocate regulation that is in the interests of consumers and criticize the fact that blockchain technologies have so far hardly brought any real applications for the economy. Rather, they would be a vehicle for dubious and highly volatile cryptocurrency investments, which would be offered to small investors who could hardly assess the risks. There were also problems such as widespread fraud and the high power consumption of proof-of-work currencies such as Bitcoin.
Another criticism raised in the letter is that the blockchain currencies do not have a direct mechanism to reverse transactions. Most publicly visible blockchains are also a “privacy disaster” – privacy coins, which offer real anonymity, but a gift for money launderers. Even after 13 years of development, the cryptocurrencies showed serious limitations and design flaws and brought little benefit to society. An improvement to already existing applications and services without blockchain is not recognizable.
To home page
#Open #Letter #Bruce #Schneier #Warns #Politicians #Cryptocurrency #Lobbying