In a recent interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast on October 7, 2023, Altman shared his unease with the government’s measures targeting digital assets.
Altman stated, “I have several disappointments with recent actions taken by the US government, but the way they are approaching cryptocurrency, trying to assert absolute control, that’s what truly saddens me about our country.”
However, Altman clarified that he is not against regulations. He referenced the disastrous collapse of FTX as a prime example of why regulations are necessary.
“I am not against regulations. I believe they are a necessity. The situation with FTX was, in a way, almost comically disastrous.”
At the same time, Altman emphasized the importance of non-government-controlled currencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as a significant technological advancement for humanity.
He explained, “A few years ago, I played a part in launching a project called Worldcoin, which allowed me to delve deeper into this field. I am enthusiastic about it for the same reasons. Yet, the notion of having a global currency that exists beyond government influence is a rational and crucial advancement in the realm of technology.”
Meanwhile, Joe Rogan expressed optimism about Bitcoin despite his skepticism towards the broader cryptocurrency industry.
Rogan commented, “The truly captivating cryptocurrency, in my opinion, is Bitcoin. I believe it has the greatest potential to become a universally accepted currency. Its limited supply and the fact that people mine it using their computers are fascinating, and I appreciate its implementation.”
However, both Altman and Rogan strongly opposed Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), expressing concerns about the potential transformation of the United States into a surveillance-oriented state.
Rogan argued that CBDCs could give governments even greater control over individuals’ spending habits.
Regulatory Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies
US regulatory authorities have taken a tough stance on cryptocurrencies, introducing new uncertainties into the future of the digital asset market.
In June 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated enforcement actions against Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange.
The charges include allegations of customer funds misappropriation and operating an unregistered exchange, among others.
The next day, the agency also targeted Coinbase for allegedly offering unregistered securities.
These developments have raised questions about how existing regulations regarding investments and trading will be applied to this relatively new asset class.
Privacy Concerns Surrounding Worldcoin
Altman’s claims bring attention to critical questions about the government’s stance on cryptocurrencies and their future in the United States.
Since its launch in July 2023, Altman’s Worldcoin project has faced significant criticism from the cryptocurrency community and regulatory bodies.
This is especially true regarding its use of eyeball-scanning Orbs for ID verification in exchange for its cryptocurrency, WLD.
Despite Worldcoin’s assurance that it does not retain data after an iris scan, privacy concerns led Kenya to suspend its operations. Argentina also launched an investigation into the project in August.
The cryptocurrency space is evolving rapidly, and it is crucial for the government to adapt to these changes while fulfilling its responsibilities to protect its citizens.