Crypto investor, and XRP advocate Michael Arrington held nothing back when asked about the potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He is a firm believer in the benefits of the technology, but pressed the risk of the United States falling behind in those industries because of regulators’ stance on the technology.
In 2008, he was selected by TIME Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.
After graduating from Stanford Law School, he practiced corporate and securities law. But after several years, he left the field to co-found an internet payments company called Achex. The company was purchased by First Data Corp in 2001. Four years later, he co-founded a tech related blog called TechCrunch. It was purchased in 2010 by AOL, but he remains an author on the website.
Arrington runs an XRP-based investment fund. He was interviewed yesterday at this years TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco alongside Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse on the state of cryptocurrency regulation in the United States. Both cited regulator uncertainty as impeding the investment potential, and ultimately innovation creation in the U.S. because entrepreneurs can more easily start their businesses in other countries.
Old Values Driving Away Investment
“So we have a few good US investments… but 80-90% of our investments are in Asia, Europe and Israel right now, because they’re actually countries where there’s enough regulatory certainty. They’re actually countries where entrepreneurs feel safe starting token companies or blockchain companies. Here, they don’t.” - Michael Arrington
He notes that the U.S. government took a more liberal stance back with the internet boom in the mid 1990s, but now wonders of the SEC: “do you realise you’re single-handedly wrecking the next stage of technology development?”
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse brought a more level headed commentary to the topic, highlighting that it is an issue of perspective for U.S. regulators. The governing bodies aren’t purposefully hurting innovation in the country, but rather are still focused on protecting what was successful in the past.
“There’s a risk that a lot of [these] developments ends up not being in the US. The impact on the United States economy for having the internet that we think of today being very US-centric in many ways has been very, very positive for the United States.” - Brad Garlinghouse
The conference organized by TechCrunch twice per year to highlight startups, emerging technologies and dig deep into the most pressing issues of the tech industry each year occurs in San Francisco and Berlin. This year the SF conference grew to nearly 10,000 attendees.
The conference differentiates itself by being journalist driven, rather than sponsership driven.
When people go on stage, an interview being conducted by an editor approaching it from a journalistic and editorial standpoint. They are clear and simple, but avoid generalities. The conversations do not avoid difficult topics.
By: BGN Editorial Staff