Despite Hurdles, Crypto Advocates Foresee a Promising Future: Scaramucci and Shrem on WSJ’s Tech Live

By Aaron Feuerstein October 23, 2023 In Cryptocurrency, FTX, Regulation
Source: Adobe Stock
  • The pair highlighted that bad actors are not unique to crypto.
  • They believe failure like the FTX scandal can never be completely avoided, but regulation will help minimise these events.
  • Despite recent headwinds and possible further temporary losses, they believe in the transformational promise of the crypto space.

At the Wall Street Journal’s “Tech Live” event, financier Anthony Scaramucci and crypto-compliance advocate Charlie Shrem discussed the current and future state of the cryptocurrency industry. Despite challenges like falling crypto values and regulatory delays, both Scaramucci and Shrem remain optimistic about the industry’s resilience.

Crypto in Criminal Use and The Current Situation

WSJ’s Gunjan Banerji addressed concerns about the reported use of the crypto exchange Garantex by terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, for transferring money, as highlighted by The Wall Street Journal.

When asked about his stance, former White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci expressed his disapproval, while also stating that the issue is not specific to crypto. He emphasised the potential of blockchain’s transparency to track such activities.

He stated, “I absolutely have a problem with it, but I think there’s ways that we can handle that and there’s ways we can regulate and go after those people. Because of the blockchain’s transparency, this stuff is easy to track.”

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Entrepreneur and Bitcoin (BTC) advocate Charlie Shrem weighed in on the ease with which bad actors can transfer cryptocurrency compared to cash. Shrem argued that with proper regulation and trusted onshore exchanges in the U.S., illicit activities can be minimised.

He stated,

With crypto, once you’re in crypto, it’s like a toll booth. As long as we regulate those toll booths of getting in and out of crypto and we have regulated onshore exchanges in America that we trust that do proper KYC and compliance, we wouldn’t have issues like that.

Charlie Shrem

On FTX, Binance and Future Collapse

Banerji brought up the collapse of the trusted exchange, FTX, and the ongoing criminal trial of Sam Bankman-Fried in New York. Anthony Scaramucci confirmed his investment with FTX and clarified that he was not testifying at the trial.

Scaramucci stated, “First of all, I wasn’t close enough to the blast zone, so that’s one of the obvious reasons why I’m not testifying.”

First of all, I wasn’t close enough to the blast zone, so that’s one of the obvious reasons why I’m not testifying.

Anthony Scaramucci

When asked about the potential for another incident similar to FTX in Binance, Charlie Shrem stated that failures are inevitable in any industry, emphasising the need for clearer regulations and better risk management in the crypto sector.

Shrem believes that with the right regulatory measures, such failures can be minimised. Scaramucci added that society will always have bad actors but highlighted the importance of innovation and risk-taking.

Momentum in the Industry

Finally, the discussion touched on the speculation, momentum and the future of the crypto industry.

In Scaramucci’s opinion, while the industry might shrink, its underlying technology offers significant benefits, such as reducing costs in transactions.

He cited examples of businesses increasing margins by avoiding credit card fees and El Salvadorians saving money on remittances. Scaramucci believes that crypto technology will be revolutionary similarly to the internet, ensuring a promising future even if there are further downturns.

He added, “So if you stop and you think about the wonderful ways that this technology is going to delayer the society and take costs out of the society the same way the internet did, there’s a very, very bright future even if there’s consolidation.”

So if you stop and you think about the wonderful ways that this technology is going to delayer the society and take costs out of the society the same way the internet did, there’s a very, very bright future even if there’s consolidation.

Anthony Scaramucci

Aaron Feuerstein
Author

Aaron Feuerstein

Aaron Feuerstein is a freelance writer based in Melbourne. His focus is on decentralised finance and the regulatory space surrounding blockchain. He holds a Master's in Accounting. When he is not studying the latest legal case, he enjoys his time as a modest but eager hobby cook.

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