Ban Crypto, And America’s Drug Problem is Solved – Bingo!

Ban crypto, and immediately we have no problems with illegal drugs, right?


Midjourney modified by Blockworks


Cash has no intent. Cash is neutral.

Bank notes are, in fact, non-sentient, and undiscerning about their ownership.

A twenty spot doesn’t care if you buy gasoline with it, bribe a border control officer with it, or shove it up your nose and snort cocaine with it. (Not life advice.)

And nobody in the US government is trying to ban cash. Because that would be idiotic.

Cash can be used in criminal activities. But cash is not criminal. Criminals are criminal, and sometimes criminals use cash, so we’ve found lots of ways as a society to make trade-offs with cash, like putting limits on how much you can carry in and out of the country.

This makes it somewhat harder for criminals to use, without making it impossible for the vast majority of us who simply find it handy to occasionally buy stuff with bits of paper.

If it seems obvious where I’m heading with this, consider yourself smarter than some of the people in Congress who haven’t yet grasped the logic of my parallel argument.

Here it is:

Crypto has no intent. Crypto is neutral.

Crypto is, in fact, non-sentient, and undiscerning about its ownership.

And nobody in the US government is trying to ban crypto. Because that would be idiotic.

Crypto can be used in criminal activities. But crypto is not crim… okay, you get the point.

Here at Blockworks, we have an editorial policy that you may find interesting.

For the most part, we do not cover conventional crimes in which the only connection to our industry is the fact that crypto is used as a means of value exchange.

Why not? For the same reason that American Banker does not cover crimes in which cash is used as a means of value exchange.

It’s irrelevant. It’s not novel, or interesting. Almost without exception, the crime is the story, not the way value is extracted or exchanged. 

And we’re not a news outlet that covers crime for titillation.

The fact is, criminals need to exchange value, just like the rest of us. They will use cash when it’s convenient. Diamonds. Bearer bonds. Cryptocurrencies. They will barter away secrets, trade in weapons, even traffic human beings.

Because criminals are criminal.

But diamonds, bearer bonds, and cryptocurrencies are not criminal. They are simply things of value.

So when Elizabeth Warren (yes, her again) starts up with her hyperbolic nonsense about how crypto enables the Fentanyl trade, you can be sure that this is as idiotic as it sounds.

And since Elizabeth Warren is not an idiot, you can only assume that her rationale for saying such an idiotic thing is malintent.

It’s fair to say that some criminals use cryptocurrency in the course of their criminal actions.

And as Senator Warren is well aware, it’s also fair to say that some criminals use cash to finance their operations. And some use credit cards. And some use offshore bank transfers. And so on. (At least blockchain gives law enforcement a path right to the criminals’ money, in many cases.)

Crypto is a neutral technology.

But people can be good or bad.

And people can also be downright dumb, like the fearmongers who would have you believe that if you ban crypto, there’s no Fentanyl trade.

I grew up with Miami Vice.

Pretty sure there was no crypto in those days. Pretty sure there were plenty of drugs.

This op-ed was originally published in the Blockworks newsletter: Subscribe below.

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