Vitalik Buterin comments on how Singapore is “crypto- and blockchain-friendly”

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2022-11-24 20:30:41

In the interview with The Straits Times 20, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin shared that Singapore’s attempt to regulate cryptocurrency may not be successful, due to its skeptical approach to the asset class.

“…Singapore’s attempt to separate blockchain and cryptocurrency usage won’t work.”

Buterin said he appreciates the city government’s willingness to help, but it may all be in vain.

“I definitely appreciate the effort they put in, as well as their willingness to explore different types of apps and support.”

Regulators around the world want to support emerging technologies but also describe cryptocurrencies as “weird and scary”. Ignorance and fear lead regulators to try to treat blockchain as a separate technology from cryptocurrencies.

This is the case in Singapore, as regulators try to separate the use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. India is also a country that is looking to adopt a similar approach, while some Chinese regulators have implemented blockchain without using cryptocurrencies.

However, Buterin said there is a “close connection” between blockchain and crypto, like “you really can’t have one without the other.” He added:

“I think some regulators in China have definitely tried to have one without the other and the reality is that if you don’t have crypto the blockchain you’re going to have is just a mess and nobody cares. care about them”.

On the other hand, Buterin emphasized that Singapore regulators are just trying to “encourage crypto speculation” without outright banning the asset class. Although the “lion island nation” had previously positioned itself as a crypto-friendly region, it has begun to tighten regulations in recent months.

In addition, Buterin acknowledges that countries and regulators can find it “difficult” to strike a healthy balance between supporting new technology without becoming a hotspot for the bad guys. However, when it comes to balancing regulation, “there are good ways to do it, but there is no shortage of bad ways.”

Following China’s crypto ban, many of the companies involved were forced to move to friendlier jurisdictions like Singapore. However, the “biggest risk of being friendly” is that countries will eventually attract the likes of Do Kwon, co-founder of Terra, who is being investigated for fraud in the wake of the Terra-LUNA scandal. Do Kwon spent considerable time in Singapore and many individuals were involved in the downfall of Terra-LUNA. Buterin added:

“Certainly if a country is not smart about crypto regulation, then they can easily become the promised land for all the people like Do Kwon. And that’s not exactly what that country wants. But on the other hand, I think it’s guaranteed to be able to participate effectively and get a lot of benefits.”

What can the crypto community do to stop the bad guys?

According to Buterin, the Bitcoin community “automatically loves all the rich and powerful supporting BTC,” which is crazy. Recalling his criticisms of El Salvador’s “top-down” Bitcoin adoption last year, Buteirn pointed out the Bitcoin community was overjoyed at the news while ignoring the nation’s dire realities. this.

“The community has promoted El Salvador even though the government of President Nayib Bukele is not very democratic and is not overly respectful of people’s freedoms. It’s an example of the kind of mistake the crypto community can make that inadvertently spawn bad behavior.”

According to Buterin, the Ethereum community does a better job of being selective about who they promote and associate with. Besides, when preventing bad guys, what the community can do is “actively support the good and oppose the bad”.

In addition, regulators can put in place safeguards, and the community can “guide users.” But “you cannot prevent all bad activity” because the nature of the blockchain system requires it to be open to everyone.

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