Matt Hougan – the CIO of Bitwise Asset Management – has stated in an interview that the U.S. government is likely seeing bitcoin as a threat to the dollar, which may be why they’re so eager to regulate it and get in the way of its potential success.
Matt Hougan On BTC: It’s Not Going Anywhere
However, Hougan was quick to say that the U.S. has no choice but to “play along” when it comes to bitcoin, and that the currency’s size and scope really gives them no choice. The asset has become so big in recent years that too many people own it, and there isn’t much the government can do to take these assets away.
In an interview, he said:
The role, as I mentioned, is bitcoin as digital gold, and just like the government hasn’t touched the gold market for 80 years or so from banning ownership, I don’t think they’re going to do anything in bitcoin. Long term, I think the world is going to want an apolitical currency rail.
One of the good things he says that exists for bitcoin is that it’s not reserved to a specific financial system, nor can it only be used by certain regions. It’s a universal currency that can virtually be provided to anyone by anyone. This, he says, makes bitcoin a great tool that nations can use to trade with each other. He comments:
People are going to want it to be a political tool for international trade. I think bitcoin could fill that role, so whether the government likes it or not in the U.S., I don’t think they’re going to have the ability to stop it just because China banned it.
It’s Just Too Big, Now
In addition, he states that bitcoin has created a trillion-dollar industry that features many additional coins and assets that people are now using either to make money, purchase items, stake, etc. He says that if bitcoin goes down, there is a chance the whole industry could suffer, and nobody is going to let that happen. Hougan mentions:
I think bitcoin has escape velocity. I think it’s beyond the ability of the U.S. government to clamp down. Whether they like it or not, I think they’re going to have to play along with it, and my hope is that the U.S. recognizes that this is a massive tool of economic growth and gets on the right side of history and supports the efficiency and the new opportunities that bitcoin and crypto open, so that’s what I hope to see happen in a year or two ahead.
Bitcoin has been around for roughly 13 years. While the currency was initially introduced through a 2008 whitepaper, the asset was first mined in early 2009. Since then, it has risen from a few cents to about $46,000 per unit at press time.