Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have been facing a turbulent year, contending with increasing scrutiny from the U.S. government. The once-soaring Bitcoin prices have plateaued, and now, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI and an AI pioneer, is sounding the alarm. He asserts that the U.S. government is waging a “war” on crypto, aiming to gain control over the decentralized digital currency.
During a recent appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Altman expressed his dismay, stating,
“I’m disappointed with what the U.S. government has done recently, but the war on crypto, which I think is a, like, we can’t give this up, we’re going to control [bitcoin and crypto] makes me quite sad about the country.”
Altman also expressed concerns about the expansion of the surveillance state and voiced strong opposition to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
The possibility of a digital dollar CBDC has been discussed among U.S. lawmakers and regulators, but Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell has indicated that it remains years away from implementation. These discussions have raised concerns about financial and monetary censorship, with some fearing that governments could gain unprecedented control over individuals’ spending habits.
Despite Altman’s criticisms, he remains enthusiastic about Bitcoin. He believes in the concept of a global currency free from government control, describing it as a crucial technological advancement. Joe Rogan concurs, suggesting that Bitcoin has the greatest potential to become a universal viable currency.
Bitcoin Under Fire: Operation Choke Point 2.0
The U.S. government’s actions in recent months have sparked accusations of a crackdown on Bitcoin and crypto, with the effort being dubbed “Operation Choke Point 2.0.” The original 2013 Operation Choke Point aimed to discourage banks from doing business with entities considered high-risk for fraud and money laundering, such as arms dealers and payday lenders.
Alexander Grieve, head of government affairs at Paradigm, a crypto-focused investment company, has also voiced concerns about a rumored White House executive order. He likens it to “Operation Choke Point, but for computing power,” suggesting that it could have unintended consequences for the Bitcoin and crypto communities.
As the U.S. government’s stance on cryptocurrencies continues to evolve, the crypto industry and its supporters are closely monitoring the situation, hoping for a more favorable outcome that preserves financial freedom and innovation.