Early Bitcoin investor and industry proponent Chamath Palihapitiya, who declared about two years ago that Bitcoin had usurped gold and forecasted the leading cryptocurrency would skyrocket to the $200,000 level, is now taking a more cautious approach toward crypto assets.
The billionaire businessman claims that the American crypto market now faces potential extinction due to increasing regulatory pressure.
“Crypto Is Dead In America”
The U.S. crypto market is in great peril.
This is what Warren Buffett disciple Chamath Palihapitiya suggested during a recent episode of the All-In Podcast alongside fellow investors Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg. Palihapitiya, who is the founder and CEO of Social Capital, a California-based venture capital firm, noted that regulators in the United States have “firmly pointed their guns at crypto”. He added that this could lead to the demise of the fledgling crypto sector within the nation.
It will be recalled that the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, last week tied the implosion of Silvergate and Signature Bank to their bitcoin activities while testifying before a House financial services committee. “You had Gensler even blaming the banking crisis on crypto,” Palihapitiya opined.
The SEC has been breathing heavily down Bitcoin’s neck in recent months following the unprecedented collapse of the now-defunct digital asset exchange FTX last November, which sent shockwaves throughout Washington DC, where disgraced founder Sam Bankman-Fried had become a key political donor.
The SEC sent a Wells Notice to the publicly-listed Coinbase exchange in March, basically warning the company of impending enforcement action due to potential violations of U.S. securities law. In Palihapitiya’s opinion, despite Coinbase’s efforts to play by the rules and attempts to work with regulators, it has encountered challenges in obtaining requisite licenses. By contrast, fraudulent companies like FTX have come closer to acquiring a license.
“[Crypto companies are] probably the ones that were the most threatening to the establishment, and they were the ones that, in fairness to the regulators, did push the boundaries more than any other sector of the startup economy. So now, they’re paying the price for that. The bill has come due for them,” Palihapitiya stated.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong hinted last week that he would consider relocating the company away from the U.S. if the country does not create a clearer rulebook for the crypto market.
The former Facebook executive Palihapitiya was an early investor in Bitcoin (he bought a million BTC for $80 in 2010). He also speculated in 2017 that the value of Bitcoin could reach a whopping million dollars within two decades.
Bitcoin is currently changing hands at around $27,681, down by 60.21% from its $69,044 historic record set in November 2021.