Neutral Technologies: Debunking Crypto Crime Myths and Promoting Balanced Discussions

A bustling city street at dusk, painted in impressionist style, people exchanging various forms of currency: cash, diamonds, and a holographic crypto wallet, neutral facial expressions, soft shadows cast, a blend of warm and cool colors, reflective surfaces, muted ambient lighting, a balanced atmosphere conveying neutrality of technologies and value exchanges.

Cash has no intent. Cash is neutral. Bank notes don’t have preferences for their ownership, nor care about their usage – be it everyday transactions, bribing officials, or facilitating illegal drug trade. Despite its possible criminal implications, no one in the U.S. government is attempting to ban cash.

In the same vein, crypto has no intent; it’s neutral, non-sentient, and undiscerning about its ownership. Moreover, no one in the U.S. government is trying to ban crypto, and for good reason. Crypto may be employed in criminal activities, but it is not inherently criminal.

News outlets like Blockworks and American Banker do not usually cover conventional crimes in which cash or cryptocurrencies are merely used for value exchange. The rationale behind this is that the crime itself is the story, not the way value is extracted or exchanged. Criminals need to exchange value, just like everyone else. They will use cash, diamonds, bearer bonds, and cryptocurrencies when convenient. However, these items themselves are not criminal, simply things of value.

When public figures, such as Elizabeth Warren, make dramatic claims about crypto enabling the Fentanyl trade, it is rather far-fetched. Criminals use cash, credit cards, and offshore bank transfers as well, of which Senator Warren is well aware. In many cases, the blockchain actually provides law enforcement with a direct path to criminals’ money.

Misleading claims and fear-mongering tactics suggesting that banning crypto would miraculously end the Fentanyl trade are preposterous. Before cryptocurrencies, drugs were still actively traded and distributed. The issue, thus, lies with the criminal intent and use of various value exchange facilitators, not with the existence of cryptocurrencies themselves.

Balanced and informed discussions about the pros and cons of cryptocurrencies must steer clear of unfounded accusations or proposals to outright ban them. Regulating and employing checks and balances, rather than prohibition, would be a more feasible approach to tackle criminal activities facilitated by any mode of value exchange – be it cash or crypto.

An aware audience must be mindful of the neutrality of these technologies, focusing on productive regulations and discussions, and not fall prey to scare tactics or skewed presentations. The onus lies on the audience to understand that banning cryptocurrencies won’t be a panacea for America’s drug problem, just as banning cash would not eradicate crime.

Source: Blockworks

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