The economic historian said that President-elect Biden’s administration should consider Bitcoin as an alternative to a „Chinese-style digital dollar.
British economic and financial historian Niall Ferguson said that the United States needs to find its own way to adopt cryptomonies, rather than „building [its] own versions of China’s electronic payment systems.
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„Even governments that resist Chinese financial penetration, such as India, are essentially building their own versions of China’s electronic payment systems,“ Ferguson said. „Instead of seeking to create a Chinese-style digital dollar, the nascent Joe Biden administration should recognize the benefits of integrating Bitcoin Supreme into the U.S. financial system.
In a Bloomberg op-ed, Ferguson said Sunday that the current pandemic has generally been good for the adoption of cryptomonies, accelerating a „currency revolution“ around the world. However, the historian noted that China has been „making rapid progress“ in deploying its digital yuan and increasing the use of mobile payments. Applications such as Alipay and WeChat Pay handle approximately USD 40 billion in transactions annually.
The historian believes that these measures by China are serving as a model for other countries developing cross-border payment systems and remittance payments. However, he advised against the United States doing so:
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Ferguson added that authorities in the U.S. already have methods for dealing with law enforcement around Bitcoin (BTC). The Internal Revenue Service now requires individuals to make a statement regarding their holdings of cryptosystems on their returns and can go after Coinbase users who do not meet the tax and reporting requirements. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has set its sights on money laundering cases where they use cryptosystems.
„The point is simply that the financial data of law-abiding individuals is better protected by Bitcoin than by Alipay,“ the historian said.
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The president-elect’s personal views on crypto-currencies, central bank digital coins and Bitcoin are not well known, but there are indications that people in his administration could help guide crypto-currencies towards a more friendly regulatory framework in the United States. For example, Biden may elect former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gary Gensler, to be his assistant secretary of the Treasury.