Blockstream CEO Adam Back responds to US crypto pressure

Amid the mounting regulatory pressures on cryptocurrency exchanges, Blockstream CEO Adam Back highlights the inherent resilience and adaptability of the crypto industry, insisting that it will continually find ways to navigate and thrive despite these challenges.

Adam Back, the CEO of Blockstream, shared some insights on the resilience of the cryptocurrency industry during the recent BTC Prague conference. He painted an optimistic picture of the sector’s ability to adapt to changing regulatory landscapes.

Antifragility in cryptocurrency sector

“Antifragility is the norm here,” Back said to Decrypt. He explains that when one door closes due to regulatory hurdles or other challenges, the industry promptly responds by opening another. This dynamism is driven by both the creation of new solutions and the shifting of market share to different players that follow distinct strategies.

Back reaffirms the demand-driven nature of the crypto market. He suggests that when a cryptocurrency exchange discontinues its services in a specific region, users will simply migrate to an alternative exchange or an international platform.

Blockstream CEO Adam Back responds to US crypto pressure - 1
1-year bitcoin chart | Source: Coin Market Cap

Comparing the fluid nature of the crypto market to water, Back underscored that the sector is nimble, ready to find workarounds, and highly efficient due to the strong desire among participants to keep operations running.

His comments come on the heels of legal actions initiated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against prominent crypto exchanges, Binance and Coinbase, for allegedly functioning as unregistered securities exchanges.

The increasing regulatory scrutiny led to Binance’s U.S. offshoot deciding to temporarily suspend USD deposits.

Notwithstanding these challenges, Back, the inventor of Hashcash, a proof-of-work (PoW) system that later laid the foundation for bitcoin mining, maintains a sanguine outlook on the future of bitcoin trading. He believes that, if U.S. wire transfers were to be constrained, traders would adapt by switching to bank accounts dealing in euros or Swiss francs.

Back points to the emergence of crypto-friendly banks in Europe, Switzerland, and Gibraltar, which provide services like accepting Tether deposits and offering conversion services between USDT and other fiat currencies.

These banks also allow bitcoin trading, albeit with limited features since their primary function remains traditional banking. This further emphasizes the industry’s adaptability. Back articulates that each challenge merely causes a reshuffling of practices and structures.

Back, a notable figure in the crypto world, believes that Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s elusive creator, would likely be impressed by the sector’s growth since its inception in 2009.

The CEO concluded his remarks by pointing out the wide array of individuals, companies, and even countries that are effectively utilizing bitcoin today, indicating that the cryptocurrency’s impact is often greater and sooner than anticipated.


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