No government can impose a total ban or fully regulate the cryptocurrency trading. That was the consensus of participants in the first leg of the Blockchain and Bitcoin Conference held in Manila on Thursday.
In exclusive interviews on the sideline of the conference, all of the participants have agreed that a ban or full regulation of the cryptocurrency trade, or the blockchain space in general, is a futile exercise because of the decentralized nature of the technology.
“Instead of imposing a ban or heavily regulating the cryptocurrency trade, governments should cooperate with the community to maximize their tax collection efforts,” stated Vlad Sapozhnikov, co-founder and CEO of Deex Exchange, a decentralized financial exchange based in Russia.
A good working relationship between the industry players and government regulators would benefit everybody Sapozhnikov.
He cited the ICO ban imposed by China in September last year which was later expanded to include cryptocurrency exchanges. News of a possible cryptocurrency trading ban in South Korea early this month caused a market free fall after Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon announced the nation might ban digital currency trading, including Bitcoin.
But the decentralized nature of the virtual currency space makes it impossible for one country to ban or completely regulate the industry, added Todd Kandaris of Stepwyze, a developer decentralized blockchain software solutions.
He stated, “Look at what’s happening now. Because China and South Korea are imposing strict rules, with the threat of a ban or enforcing a ban, other countries are stepping in. Look at Japan. It is becoming a safe haven for cryptocurrencies because of a friendly environment. Even the Philippines is a crypto-friendly regime.”
Kandaris was referring to reports that Japan is emerging as a world leader in Bitcoin trading, accounting for 40 percent of global transactions.
Former Nomura Research Institute executive economist Takahide Kiuchi said that traders are being attracted to Japan because of Tokyo’s loose regulations on the industry, adding that the crackdowns implemented by other countries are actually benefiting Japan.
He said, “This had led to moves to transfer investment money to Japan, where regulation is relatively slack."
According to Sapozhnikov, the rules of one country may not apply to another, making it difficult to ban cryptocurrency trading.
Ban on Crypto ‘Laughable’
Kandaris further added that all efforts to impose a total ban on cryptocurrency trading are “laughable” because “it’s a joke,” he said.
"You cannot control the Internet," Kandaris said. The blockchain technology is decentralized which no one can impose full control. Anybody who has access to the Internet or a smartphone can trade in cryptocurrencies."