Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and a bipartisan group of lawmakers urged the South Korean government to deregulate the blockchain industry. They say the current laws are overly restrictive and therefore, inhibit innovation.
Buterin made the remarks while speaking at a meeting of the South Korean parliament, News1 reported.
“Blockchain is a technology that can be run without cryptocurrencies, but there is no crypto without blockchain. Public blockchains rely heavily on cryptography. Therefore, cryptocurrencies are absolutely necessary.”
Buterin was reacting to the Korean government’s “blockchain, not bitcoin” stance. South Korean officials have repeatedly tried to promote blockchain while undermining cryptocurrencies and banning ICOs.
But Buterin said crypto and blockchain are too intertwined and cannot be separated. Besides, he says, ICOs are starting to rehabilitate their sleazy image after a number of scams were stamped out.
“ICOs have certainly improved, and will continue to improve in the future,” he said.
Moreover, Vitalik Buterin noted that the 2018 Crypto Winter has been good for the industry because it chased out the con artists and revealed which projects are here for the long term.
“The recent crypto scandals and market recession have [uncovered which projects] turned out to be scams and which projects are going to be sustainable.”
This is a sentiment echoed by Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, an early investor in Coinbase.
In February 2019, Ohanian said bitcoin investors should not be discouraged by the extended bear market because the mass purge was good for the long-term health of the industry.
“The speculators have fled and that’s great,” Ohanian said. “Because the people who are now building on crypto are true believers. They’re actually building the infrastructure that it’s going to take to really make this happen.”
The South Korea government, under liberal President Moon Jae-in, banned ICOs and stripped crypto businesses of tax breaks in response to a number of high-profile crypto scams.
The government’s harsh legislative approach to digital currencies has caused uproar in South Korea’s growing crypto community, which has mushroomed despite the country’s draconian anti-growth policies.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in the United States and France are urging their respective governments to start embracing blockchain and crypto, saying the innovative technologies can bolster their economies.
As CCN.com reported, two members of the French Parliament want the nation to invest up to 500 million euros in blockchain programs to make France a “blockchain nation.”
Similarly, pro-bitcoin U.S. lawmakers have introduced legislation designed to promote crypto adoption in America.
In a December 2018 joint statement, Congressmen Darren Soto and Ted Budd underscored the “profound potential” of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
The lawmakers said: “Virtual currencies and the underlying blockchain technology has a profound potential to be a driver of economic growth. That’s why we must ensure that the United States is at the forefront.”
While Vitalik Buterin was in Korea this week, he debated longtime bitcoin troll Nouriel Roubini (video below).
Not surprisingly, Roubini remains a bitcoin and blockchain hater. Cuz haters gonna hate.