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Crackdown on Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptos could happen, says Jesse Powell

The Kraken CEO warned that governments may start to clamp down on the use of Bitcoin and other cryptos.

Image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay

Tue, 13 Apr 2021, 11:15 am UTC

The crypto market surged to new heights with Bitcoin (BTC) setting a new all-time high above $62,000 today. However, some players in the industry are now warning that governments may start to clamp down on the use of Bitcoin and other cryptos.

The warning came from Jesse Powell, the CEO of Kraken, one of the top crypto exchanges in the world. “I think there could be some crackdown,” Powell told CNBC in an interview.

Kraken’s competitor, Coinbase, is set to go public on Wednesday, a move that is seen as a major milestone for the crypto industry that has faced years of skepticism from regulators and Wall Street players. Despite this positive development, Powell believes that the industry will still be facing regulatory uncertainties in the near future.

For instance, a recently proposed anti-money laundering rule would require crypto holders who keep their assets in private digital wallets to undergo identity checks if they make transactions worth $3,000 or more. “Something like that could really hurt crypto and kind of kill the original use case, which was to just make financial services accessible to everyone,” the Kraken CEO opined.

For years, critics have argued that cryptos such as Bitcoin or Ethereum could be used in illicit activities. This is because people can make crypto transactions anonymously.

However, recent data reveal that the percentage of illicit crypto activities is just a very small percentage of the total and has, in fact, significantly fallen since last year. According to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, Illicit crypto use is just 0.34 percent of all crypto transactions, which was down from 2 percent a year ago.

“I hope that the U.S. and international regulators don’t take too much of a narrow view on this,” Powell commented. “Some other countries, China especially, are taking crypto very seriously and taking a very long-term view.”

He also said that he feels the U.S. is a bit “shortsighted” compared to other nations and is “susceptible” to the pressures of incumbent legacy businesses or traditional banks. “ also think it might be too late,” the Kraken CEO remained hopeful. “Maybe the genie’s out of the bottle and just trying to ban it at this point would make it more attractive. It would certainly send a message that the government sees this as a superior alternative to their own currency.”

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