Sam Altman, the founder of Worldcoin and CEO of OpenAI, has expressed concern about the increasing efforts of the US government to regulate and exercise authority over the cryptocurrency market.
He has compared these actions to a form of “war” against the industry.
In a recent interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, held on October 7, 2023, Sam Altman expressed his displeasure with government measures targeting digital assets.
Altman said: “I have several disappointments with the recent actions taken by the US government, but the way they are approaching cryptocurrency, trying to assert absolute control, is what really saddens me about our country.”
However, Altman made it clear that he is not opposed to the regulations. He pointed to the catastrophic collapse of FTX as a clear illustration of why regulations are vital, saying:
“I’m not against regulations. I think they’re a necessity. The situation with FTX was, in a way, almost comically disastrous.”
At the same time, Altman emphasized the importance of non-government-controlled currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as a substantial technological advance for humanity.
He explained: “A few years ago, I participated in the launch of a project called Worldcoin, which allowed me to delve into this field. I am excited for the same reasons. However, the notion of having a global currency that exists more beyond government influence is a rational and crucial advance in the field of technology.”
Meanwhile, Joe Rogan expressed his optimism about Bitcoin despite his skepticism about the broader cryptocurrency industry.
He commented: “The truly captivating cryptocurrency, in my opinion, is Bitcoin. I think it has the greatest potential to become a universally accepted currency. Its limited supply and the fact that people mine it with their computers are fascinating, and I appreciate their implementation.”
However, both Altman and Rogan strongly expressed their opposition to CBDCs. They expressed concerns about the possible transformation of the United States into a surveillance-oriented state.
Rogan claimed that CBDCs could give governments even greater influence over individuals’ spending habits.
Regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies
US regulatory authorities have taken a tough stance on cryptocurrencies, introducing new uncertainties into the future of the digital asset market.
In June 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began enforcement actions against Binancethe world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
The charges include allegations of misappropriating customer funds and operating an unregistered stock exchange, among others.
The next day, the agency too Targeted Coinbase to allegedly offer unregistered securities.
These developments have amplified lingering questions about how existing investment and trading regulations will apply to this relatively new asset class.
Privacy Concerns Around Worldcoin
While Altman’s claims may seem dramatic, they bring to the fore critical questions about the government’s stance on cryptocurrencies and their future in the United States.
Its Worldcoin project has also received substantial criticism from the cryptocurrency community and regulatory bodies since its launch in July 2023.
This is especially related to their use of eye scanning Orbs for ID verification in exchange for their cryptocurrency, WLD.
Despite Worldcoin’s claims that it does not retain data after an iris scan is complete, privacy concerns prompted Kenya to suspend its operations. Argentina also launched an investigation into the project in August.
The crypto space is rapidly evolving, and as it does, it becomes essential for the government to adapt to these changes while maintaining its responsibilities to safeguard its citizens.