Crypto Wars: Balancing Privacy versus National Security

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Senior officials in the Administration have expressed concern about cryptocurrencies being used for criminal activity and undermining the dollar as the global reserve currency.  These concerns have been heightened with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, evasion of sanctions including North Korean sanctions, cyberattacks, and ransomware.  Others contend that blockchain transactions are easier to trace than physical cash, and that the Administration’s concerns are exaggerated and could stifle innovation.  China has banned cryptocurrencies and developed its own central bank digital currency (CBDC).  It appears that the digital yuan will be used by the Chinese government for surveillance purposes to closely monitor personal transactions and behavior.  A number of other regimes, including Canada, have used the banking and monetary system to silence dissidents.  Some say that dissidents and citizens in countries that have unstable fiat currencies have turned to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to escape the national currency and protect their rights; other say cryptocurrencies are used by criminals and terrorists. 

This very timely panel will discuss whether the US can develop policies on digital assets that both protect freedom and privacy and maintain our safety from bad actors, and what the trade-offs with the dollar’s international role might be.

 Featuring:

Hon. Mick Mulvaney, Co-Chair, Actum LLC; Former Director, Office of Management and Budget

Hon. Kathy Kraninger, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Solidus Labs; Former Director,  Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Michele Korver, Head of Regulatory, a16z Crypto

Norbert Michel, Vice President and Director, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute

Moderator: Dina Ellis Rochkind, Counsel, Government Affairs and Strategy, Paul Hastings

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As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.