It has been close to a year since the peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency bitcoin topped $1,000. Soon after the price collapsed to half that value, financial experts and banking officials called for the virtual currency’s utter demise. Of course, bitcoin is still here, and it could eventually transform into the “Internet of money.”
Andy Yee, a Google policy advisor for its Asia-Pacific division, published an article for the Internet Policy Review that put forward the case that there are various segments of the bitcoin economy that should be aimed for regulation that is modeled on current digital frameworks.
When separating the digital currency ecosystem into an assortment of layers, Yee argued businesses that connect with consumers and investors should face some level of regulation. However, developers and users would be weak targets considering the broader nature of the Internet.
The article further discussed any future regulations that are installed by governments or the bitcoin industry itself should not prevent innovation in this sphere but still take into consideration the numerous concerns that law enforcement agencies, consumer safety proponents and financial regulators have.
Here is what Yee wrote in the paper:
“The logical and user layers are populated by private actors from the bitcoin community and real economy respectively. These actors are small and can easily escape from regulation and enforcement. At the information layer, intermediaries of various kinds have emerged to bridge the two networks. Their position in the Internet architecture enables them to capture information flows and identify wrongdoers. In addition, they are larger and more established actors, making them more amenable to state regulation.”
Yee isn’t the only Google employee to pontificate on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
For instance, Google Chief Economist Hal Varian said late last year that he’s not “particularly optimistic” regarding the future of the digital currency because it is already the victim of being the very first in its field.
“I think something like this technology will take hold in the future but I am not particularly optimistic about bitcoin because it suffers from being the first in the area,” Varian averred. “We have a saying in the US that you can always tell pioneers that they are the ones with errors in their bags.”
This has been a concept that has been said before. Some believe that the technology of bitcoin may survive but it is difficult to determine if bitcoin itself will still be around in the next decade or two.
Earlier this year, Google let it accidentally known that it was exploring potential bitcoin integration plans. “We are working in the payments team to figure out how to incorporate bitcoin into our plans,” wrote Google Senior VP of Ads and Commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy.
The search engine juggernaut surprised much of the bitcoin community when it incorporated bitcoin price and conversion information in its search query – though, DuckDuckGo and Bing already have it.
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