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Fed Governor Says ‘Blockchain Is Totally Overrated,’ Claims Crypto Is ‘Just Electronic Gold’ – Bitcoin News

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Fed Governor Says 'Blockchain Is Totally Overrated,' Claims Crypto Is 'Just Electronic Gold'


The American economist and member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Christopher Waller, believes blockchain technology is “totally overrated,” even though the U.S. central bank “put a lot of resources into understanding digital currencies and the blockchain.” On Friday, Waller spoke during a panel that discussed central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and said that CBDC white papers were similar to “infomercials.”

Fed Governor Insists: ‘These Things Aren’t Payment Instruments at All’

On Friday, a virtual panel made up of Yale’s Gary Gorton, Bank for International Settlements (BIS) executive Hyun Song Shin, and the Fed’s Christopher Waller discussed blockchain technology and CBDCs at great length. The hour-long panel discussion was called “Should Central Bank Issue Digital Currencies?” and Waller is very skeptical about such technologies.

“These things aren’t payment instruments at all,” Waller remarked during the virtual panel. “My view is these things are just electronic gold. They’re forms of storage carrying wealth across time. Look at art, look at baseball cards. Look at all of this stuff that’s intrinsically useless that people pay a lot of money and hold on to because they think they can sell it later and get their money back.”

Waller further stressed that he doesn’t think blockchain technology is efficient, and he thinks there’s too much hype surrounding it. The Fed governor explained:

I think blockchain is totally overrated — The question is is it the most efficient way to do stuff? We know distributed ledger blockchain is one way of doing transactions and record-keeping, but it’s not efficient.

Waller Has Been Skeptical About CBDCs and Stablecoins in the Past — Fed Governor Says China’s CBDC Doesn’t ‘Threaten the Dollar’

In mid-November last year, Waller commented on fiat-pegged digital currencies during a virtual conference with members of the Cleveland Fed, and he discussed applying regulations to the stablecoin economy. Prior to the Cleveland Fed virtual conference statements, Waller told participants at an Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) discussion in October that he was skeptical about the Fed issuing a CBDC or digital dollar.

During Friday’s virtual discussion on central banking and digital currencies, Waller reiterated his skepticism over whether or not the Fed really needs to issue a CBDC. So far he has not been convinced that there’s a need for a central bank digital currency in the United States.

“I’m trying to focus on why do we really need it as opposed to look at all the bells and whistles that come along with it,” Waller said. “I haven’t been convinced about [it] yet. It’s not saying that I can’t be, but I haven’t seen that on retail CBDC.”

In addition to discussing the U.S., Waller also talked about China’s CBDC and he stressed that he doesn’t believe the digital yuan threatens the U.S. dollar. “What has the [central bank of China] done,” Waller opined on Friday. “They’ve allowed Chinese households to have a bank account with the PBOC so they can pay their electric bill… I don’t see how having payment accounts at a central bank threatens the dollar in any way, shape, or form.”

Tags in this story
Bitcoin, Blockchain tech, blockchain technology, BTC, CBDC, CBDC discussion, central bank digital currencies, central bank digital currency, central banking, China’s CBDC, Christopher Waller, Cryptocurrencies, Digital Currencies, Digital Dollar, Electronic Gold, Fed, Federal Reserve, Gary Gorton, Hyun Song Shin, Overrated, panel discussion, Payments, Stablecoins, US CBDC

What do you think about the Federal Reserve Board of Governors official Christopher Waller and his opinion about blockchain technology being overrated? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.




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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.





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Kazakhstan Continues Bitcoin Mining Regulation – Bitcoin Magazine

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Kazakhstan Continues Bitcoin Mining Regulation - Bitcoin Magazine



Kazakhstan is moving forward with regulation that will further stifle its bitcoin mining industry.

The country’s federal parliamentary body has completed secondary approval of a bill “On Digital Assets in the Republic of Kazakhstan.” With a third approval, the legislation will introduce new licensing requirements for bitcoin miners based on their facility ownership and operational structure. It would also require that miners purchase their electricity from the energy provider Korem at market rates.

Previously, specific reporting and tax requirements were implemented, including registration of names, locations and quarterly reports to the government. These occurred as a result of the major influx of mining amidst energy shortages and protests, all while bitcoin miners fled China as a response to the government’s banning of bitcoin.

Kazakhstan’s close proximity to China and previously highly favorable energy access led to the large amounts of hash rate migrating to the country. Afterwards, Kazakhstan went as far as seizing up to $200 million in mining equipment who did not comply with regulation, and the country continues to try and absorb the benefits of the influx in bitcoin mining using legislation like this most recently approved bill.

Bitcoin Magazine previously reported on regulation in Kazakhstan, citing a report from the Russian media outlet Tass. In the report, Ekaterina Smyshlyaeva, a member of the Committee on Economic Reform and Regional Development of the Majilis (Kazakhstan’s federal parliamentary body) detailed the government’s intentions, describing how, “Kazakhstan was used as a raw material appendage of the blockchain industry. [Through] bills, we oblige miners to license in Kazakhstan, that is, to create legal entities and become full-fledged subjects of taxation.” 



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Paraguay Fails To Pass Bitcoin Mining Bill – Bitcoin Magazine

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Paraguay’s Bitcoin Bill Passes the Senate



  • The Paraguay legislature did not pass a bill that would have regulated cryptocurrency mining in the country.
  • The bill, originally passed in July of 2022, was subsequently vetoed by President Mario Abdo Benítez in August, which sent it back to the legislature.
  • If passed, the bill would have limited outsized charges levied against bitcoin miners for their energy usage.

According to a Coindesk report, “The industry has found itself in a fight with the local grid operator provider, Ande, and some members of the legislature who claim that the grid’s infrastructure cannot handle the excess load and that the industry doesn’t greatly benefit the local economy and society.”

Ande had requested that the Paraguayan government raise electricity tariffs by as much as 60% over the industry standard — and the bill would have capped these increases to 15%.

Paraguay has become a major location for bitcoin mining as a result of the country’s abundant power. The Itaipú dam, one of the largest in the world, has proven to be a boon of cheap energy, enabling a rush to absorb this value into the Bitcoin network via mining. If the country seeks to expand on this rush of investment into the energy infrastructure of the country, getting regulation correct is critical to not stifling that.

Industry players involved in Paraguay include Bitfarms, who has a 10MW facility based there, and Pow.re, who has operations totaling 12MW there.



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Lawmaker Pleads With Sam Bankman-Fried to Attend Congress Hearing on FTX — SBF Says He’ll Testify When He’s Ready – Regulation Bitcoin News

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Lawmaker Pleads With Sam Bankman-Fried to Attend Congress Hearing on FTX — SBF Says He'll Testify When He's Ready


Congresswoman Maxine Waters, chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, has politely asked former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) to attend a congressional hearing on the collapse of his cryptocurrency exchange. Bankman-Fried says he will testify when he has finished “learning and reviewing what happened.”

Bankman-Fried Responds to Rep. Waters’ Invitation

The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will hold a congressional hearing on the collapse of crypto exchange FTX on Dec. 13. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the committee’s chair, has been trying to get former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) to attend the hearing. However, instead of issuing a subpoena for him to testify, Waters politely asked him on Twitter Friday.

“We appreciate that you’ve been candid in your discussions about what happened at FTX. Your willingness to talk to the public will help the company’s customers, investors, and others. To that end, we would welcome your participation in our hearing on the 13th,” she tweeted.

Bankman-Fried responded to Waters on Twitter Saturday:

Once I have finished learning and reviewing what happened, I would feel like it was my duty to appear before the committee and explain. I’m not sure that will happen by the 13th. But when it does, I will testify.

Waters Insists SBF Must Attend Next Week’s Hearing

Congresswoman Waters responded to Bankman-Fried Monday: “Based on your role as CEO and your media interviews over the past few weeks, it’s clear to us that the information you have thus far is sufficient for testimony.” In a follow-up tweet, she wrote:

As you know, the collapse of FTX has harmed over one million people. Your testimony would not only be meaningful to members of Congress, but is also critical to the American people.

Waters stressed: “It is imperative that you attend our hearing on the 13th, and we are willing to schedule continued hearings if there is more information to be shared later.”

At the time of writing, Bankman-Fried has not replied to Waters further.

Many people on social media criticized Waters for her politeness towards Bankman-Fried. A number of people urged the lawmaker to stop asking SBF nicely on social media and issue a subpoena to force him to testify.

However, some suspect that Waters is polite to Bankman-Fried because the former FTX boss was the second-largest donor to the Democratic Party during the 2021-22 election cycle. According to Opensecrets, he donated $39,884,256 to Democrats before FTX imploded and had to file for bankruptcy. However, Tesla CEO and Twitter chief Elon Musk believes that SBF’s actual support to Democrats was over $1 billion.

What do you think about how Rep. Maxine Waters asked Bankman-Fried to attend her congressional hearing? Let us know in the comments section below.

Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.





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