As the CEO of investing firm Blackstone, CEO Steve Schwarzman says that he’s used to a world where currencies are controlled by a central body, and thus he’s not a huge fan of how crypto is structured.
Schwarzman: I Don’t Understand Crypto
This is to be expected from someone who’s been involved in traditional finance for most of his professional life. Having started the company in the mid-1980s, Blackstone has become one of the most successful trading platforms in the western hemisphere, managing over half-a-billion in assorted customer assets.
For the most part, Blackstone has made a name for itself by investing in alternative means of wealth, yet Schwarzman had a few harsh things to say about crypto during his latest interview. He fully admits that he doesn’t always understand them, and thus he’s a little wary to get involved unless he knows more.
I don’t have much interest in [crypto] because it’s hard for me to understand. I was raised in a world where someone needs to control currencies. There’s a reason to want to control currencies, which is why governments all do it. There’s no one who says, ‘I don’t care.’ Part of that is to make sure the economy is as insulated as it can be from excesses. Another part of it is to control bad behavior, so the idea that you can transact without anybody knowing anything, you could have a lot of criminal behavior – dirty money, drug money – running all over the world. It only encourages that kind of activity.
Schwarzman’s position is understandable, but he’s also presenting a lot of old ideas in his argument. For one thing, bitcoin is losing its popular status among criminals given the fact that it’s not as anonymous as originally presumed. All transactions are recorded to the blockchain, which means that even though the names of the traders may not be available at first sight, the transactions can be tracked between addresses with general ease.
He Still Likes Blockchain, Though
At the same time, Schwarzman – while making it clear that he’ll never own any bitcoin in the coming future – did comment that he’s interested in blockchain technology, which he thinks has the power to revolutionize several different industries. He says:
I may be a limited thinker, but that’s a problem. If [crypto] cold solve that problem and the problem of controlling the money supply, then it might be okay. That doesn’t mean that the blockchain technology applied to non-tradeable currencies is not a good thing. That is clearly a good thing… There are all kinds of uses you can have from certain executions. [Blockchain] is a very good idea, and it will end up being adopted because it’s good technology. Applying it to the creation of money is sort of, for my taste, odd.