Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:
Should Bitcoin enthusiasts be alarmed at its plunging value?
Well, I can only imagine it makes them a little less enthusiastic, although the value of Bitcoin is still a lot higher than it was a year ago. So I guess the level of concern much depends on when the enthusiasts started to invest in this volatile currency, which is also seeing more and more regulations coming its way. So if people choose to get out now, it further pushes down the value and so on. I'll be watching what happens next.
Why is China cracking down on cryptocurrency trading?
Well, the Chinese government, not unlike central banks and regulators in other parts of the world, is concerned about the monetary policy effects of massive value creation without oversight. So after a period of a hands-off, watch-and-see approach all over the world, calls for regulation or the creation of digital currencies that are tied to central banks are now taking up. The Basel Committee lamented the creation of walled gardens and big tech for working against the public interest and said Bitcoin in particular has few redeeming public interest attributes when also considering its wasteful energy footprint. So regulation of Bitcoin is coming from different angles and there is no escaping it.