Chamath Palihapitiya, a well-known tech investor who once claimed that bitcoin had replaced gold and predicted that the cryptocurrency would reach $200,000, now holds a more cautious view on cryptocurrencies. In the latest episode of the All-In podcast, Palihapitiya declared that “Crypto is dead in America.”
Palihapitiya primarily blames the cryptocurrency industry’s downfall on regulators, who have recently become much more aggressive in their pursuit of bad actors in the space. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently increased its enforcement of the crypto industry, targeting companies and projects that the regulator alleges were selling unregistered securities. Additionally, the agency has proposed new rules that would change which crypto firms can hold customer assets, issued warnings to companies like Coinbase for potential violations of U.S. securities laws, and charged Bittrex and its ex-CEO with operating an unregistered exchange.
According to Palihapitiya, the crypto industry’s decline is also due to the fact that the sector pushed the boundaries more than any other startup economy sector, making them the most threatening to the establishment. As a result, they are now paying the price for their actions.
However, the SEC’s crackdown on cryptocurrency platforms has drawn criticism from House Republicans, who argue that the regulator’s approach is “driving innovation overseas and endangering American competitiveness.” Nevertheless, Gensler defended the SEC’s actions, arguing that the exchanges “are noncompliant generally, and they need to come into compliance.”
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, reached a record of approximately $69,000 in November 2021 when the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate was near zero and investors were flooding into risk. However, as the Fed began steadily raising rates to combat inflation, the market changed. Bitcoin is currently trading at just over $27,300, down 60% from its all-time high.