Economist Tyler Cowen Calls Crypto “Illegal”, Says Legality Essential For Mainstream Adoption

By Rushali Shome

Tyler Cowen, an economist who is a faculty member of George Mason University, while speaking at Bloomberg Ideas, commented that crypto will face major obstacles in achieving mainstream adoption if the sector remain illegal and unregulated. The said event hosts experts from a variety of fields and allows for the deliberation on issues such as these.

However, the economist’s comment does not portray universal reality because major areas of the world economy including the United States, South Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom allow cryptocurrencies to be traded legally, provided the traders and investors play by the rules put in place by regulatory authorities. The US SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is frequently in the news for playing a role in crypto-oriented decisions.

What Cowen emphasized upon, is the fact that since digital currencies are an emerging class of assets, it is imperative to formulate coherent crypto regulations so that more investors get the interest to make a foray into this market and adopt digital currencies as a viable mode of payment, and a force to reckon with vis-a-vis fiat currencies.

For a very long time, economists around the globe have mistakenly interpreted cryptocurrencies as being associated with illegal activities because of the lack of regulation and anonymity associated with it. Recently, another reputed economist known as Nouriel Roubini lashed out against cryptocurrencies and many other leading figures in the discipline tend to agree with his anti-crypto stance.

However, cryptocurrencies do offer a host of benefits to tap into its many advantages to make the most of its potential, at least in the field of fintech.
Lloyd Blankfein, the ex-CEO and chairman of Goldman Sachs had earlier termed the negative attitude of bankers and economists as “arrogant”. To dismiss an entire asset class altogether without giving it a chance to prove itself is hardly fair.

Cowen’s view was also somewhat inaccurate because many countries around the global see perfect legal crypto transactions taking place, with many countries like Malta even trying to build a blockchain hub in their countries.

Rushali Shome

Rushali Shome is a history undergraduate with a keen interest in puns, politics and beyond. When not typing away furiously in the “Notes” section of her phone, she can be found trying to catch the eye of servers at restaurants or weddings for a second helping.

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