Ben Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York, recently tweeted that he will try to do a Reddit AMA on Bitcoin regulation in the near future. This doesn’t mean that it will definitely happen, but it would probably be a positive event for both regulators and the Bitcoin community. After all, bitcoiners have been rather worried about some of the troublesome statements Lawsky made during the New York Bitcoin hearings in January, but it seems he may have already started to backtrack on those original points of view.
The main reason that Ben Lawsky should definitely do the Reddit AMA is there seems to be a lack of clarity when it comes to New York’s current regulatory stance on Bitcoin. Lawsky originally claimed that regulators would always choose squashing money laundering over allowing new innovation to take place, but his comments in a somewhat recent Fox Business interview seem to indicate that he has learned more about the technological capabilities of Bitcoin. It will be interesting to see where Lawsky stands right now because there are many Bitcoin companies who are waiting to hear an official statement from the New York Department of Financial Services before they setup shop.
It seems that Lawsky now understands regulating actual Bitcoin transactions may prove to be quite difficult, which is a testament to his dedication to learning more about cryptocurrencies as a whole. As many Bitcoin supporters know, it can take a long time to get a grasp on what’s really possible with this new technology. The main thing people want to know is whether or not New York regulators will squash innovation to prevent money laundering. As Fred Wilson pointed out at those same hearings in New York, trying to over-regulate Bitcoin eventually gets to the point where it is antithetical to a free society. Preventing people from enjoying financial privacy and freedom through Bitcoin becomes rather difficult, unless you live under some form of a tyrannical government.