Former presidential candidate Ron Paul recently urged legalization of all competing currencies, crypto and otherwise, during a televised phone interview. He discussed his views on prices going forward, particularly of gold versus the dollar, and warned about government involvement with regard to the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin.
Former Presidential Candidate is Worried about Government Surveillance of Bitcoin Users
Two-time Republican candidate for President of the United States, and former congressman from Texas, Dr. Ron Paul, MD, explained there is “too much surveillance already on how [cryptocurrencies] are transferred, [and how] the reports have to be made by the exchanges to the IRS.”
Dr. Paul might have been referring to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) attempt to compel popular bitcoin exchange Coinbase into handing-over names of its customers in an effort to prosecute possible tax evasion. The San Francisco-based company has refused the IRS request.
Also in the interview with Daniela Cambone, Editor-in-Chief for Canadian outlet Kitco News, Dr. Paul noted how the trend seems to be of the government waiting until something grows successful enough, and then attempts to severely restrict it or punish it. “If [bitcoin] is a really good deal and a good process,” he said, “rest assured the government will be looking at it very carefully.”
Government interest in bitcoin “makes me a little bit nervous,” he added, “people should be very cautious.”
As for currency competition, “If the people want [bitcoin] and want to use it, the government should stay out of it,” he told Ms. Cambone.
Nuanced, Subtle Views on Bitcoin
Unlike other prominent political and financial media celebrities, Dr. Paul doesn’t give a lot of flash and bombast when it comes to cryptocurrencies generally and bitcoin in particular. Instead, he takes a wait-and-see approach, humbling himself enough to admit he doesn’t quite understand the technology.
The Kitco News Editor-in-Chief put questions to him bluntly about bitcoin, asking “Are you a believer in the cryptocurrencies?”
“Well,” Dr. Paul began, “I’d have to talk about the world ‘believable.’ I take some very strong political positions on competing currencies. I want to legalize all competing currencies. And if you can come up with a competing currency, and there is no fraud, I think it should be,” he stressed.
“Quite frankly,” he admitted, “I don’t understand the technology of cryptocurrencies. I just want to make sure no fraud is involved. But I am also concerned about the government involvement.”
“Does it represent real money to you?” Ms. Cambone followed up.
“Not to me, no, it doesn’t,” Dr. Paul answered. “But if it serves the voluntary exchanges of people, and [serves] the purpose of exchanging wealth, … it could act as if it were money ….” he elaborated.
“Some say bitcoin is stealing the thunder away from gold,” Ms. Cambone continued, “and that’s one of the reasons the yellow metal is not rallying further. Do you agree with this?”
“I think that’s a very strong possibility,” he considered. “I am amazed,” he laughed, “at all the capitalization on these cryptocurrencies. It’s a huge amount of money,” Dr. Paul emphasized.
Returning to the subject of bitcoin, “Only time will tell if it’s going to survive as something they call money,” he said.
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