The Overlooked Reason The United States Would Struggle To Ban Bitcoin

The Supreme Court is framed between the columns of the Senate, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


One of the common criticisms thrown at bitcoin by those who are not bullish on its long term potential as a global, apolitical store of value and medium of exchange is that governments will eventually decide that the cryptocurrency should not be allowed to exist. Of course, it should be remembered that Bitcoin was designed in a decentralized manner specifically to prevent such a shutdown of the network.

Although there are indeed technical reasons that make it difficult to shut down Bitcoin, there are also legal constraints related to a potential bitcoin ban, at least according to Abra CEO Bill Barhydt.

Bitcoin is a Free Speech Issue

Barhydt appeared on a panel during the Bitcoin 2019 conference in San Francisco last week, and during his appearance, he discussed how Abra has enabled their non-American users to gain price exposure to the U.S. equities market.

Abra is built on top of Bitcoin smart contracts, which allow their users to peg the value of their bitcoin to a variety of traditional financial assets, such as Apple stock, in a non-custodial manner. In the past, Barhydt has explained how the non-custodial nature of Abra allows the company to avoid a large number of onerous financial regulations and restrictions (see more on how Abra works in this previous article).

During his appearance at Bitcoin 2019, Barhydt focused on the legality of Bitcoin as a free speech issue.

“The edge of the network, I think, should scare all of us because it’s not a Bitcoin-specific issue. That’s, you know, a government overreach issue and a free speech issue that I think we don’t take seriously. We don’t hear enough of a narrative around Bitcoin as free speech. And free speech needs to be a protected human right across the board,” said Barhydt.

At this point, Keiser…

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