Anonymous asked Juan Llanos, 12/24/2016 5:13:55 AM

Any predictions for how blockchain may evolve under the Trump administration?

12/24/2016 11:02:09 AM,
Juan Llanos replied:
My read of the political tea leaves is that the future does not look good for public/open blockchains under Trump. It is likely that "Blockchain" in general will continue to spearhead the fintech revolution, but with the primary goal of reducing costs for the dominant intermediaries. From the point of view of policy, regulation and enforcement, however, private/closed blockchains will continue to be favored over public/open blockchains. The expectation of a regulatory sandbox in the US is naive. Only the well-funded and well-managed companies will be able to comply with the onerous consumer protection, safety and soundness and anti-crime requirements that the US will impose on participating entities. Fintech innovation will be easier elsewhere than in the United States, as long as the innovators don't touch the USD or serve US consumers or investors. And let's get prepared for the new administration stepping up the war against terrorism, which will put pressure on public/open blockchains to incorporate increasingly restrictive safeguards.
12/28/2016 7:09:56 PM,
Zachary Kelman replied:
Hey Juan,  do you have any optimism about Mick Mulvaney, Trumps budget chief pick? Also, do you think its possible that Trump's threat to outlaw remittances across the US/Mexico corridor might benefit bitcoin adoption?  Thanks for your time.
12/28/2016 7:38:27 PM,
Juan Llanos replied:
Hi, Zach. Thanks for your questions. Mulvaney may have some influence, but I generally do not have much optimism. There are aspects of regualtion that are non-negotiable, especially if the administation becomes as protectionistic as it seems it will. One of those aspects is the ware against financial crime and terrorism, and the enforcement of sanctions against "enemies of the state."  Think about who the potential losers are if open blockchains thrive and you'll understand.

As to Trump's stance vis-à-vis remittances and immigrants, I think it was morst likely rallying cries than actual policy goals. Remittances will never go away, at least as long as the asymmetries between the northern and southern hemisphere ramain wide. His financial crime advisors know too well that crushing legal remittance channels would encourage the appearance of illegal ones. The loss of visibility in the flow of funds is one of the aspects the US and other governments are very concerned about (think tax evasion, terrorism financing). Of course, any impact on traditional channels could be an opportunity for cryptocurrencies (good and bad, legal and illegal, translucent and fully private) to become alternative remittance vehicles.