Grayscale CEO Barry Silbert: "There's enough support in DC from policymakers and regulators that bitcoin has a right to exist and ultimately you can't shut it down." Photo: iStock

The CEO of cryptocurrency investment firm Grayscale Investments and Digital Currency Group believes it is highly unlikely that the US government will ban bitcoin.

In a Grayscale investor call on July 16, Barry Silbert said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the chances of regulations in the US improving or at least not getting worse for the cryptocurrency, Cointelegraph reports

“For the first time ever, we are past the ‘ban bitcoin’ perceived risk,” Silbert said. “There’s enough support in DC from policymakers and regulators that bitcoin has a right to exist and ultimately you can’t shut it down.”

The CEO said relationships with regulators are much better off due to the effort made by groups including the Blockchain Association – a group speaking out in favor of many blockchain and crypto companies in front of the SEC – and Coin Center, a non-profit crypto advocacy group. 

“As an industry, we’re just much better off than we’ve ever been from a relationship perspective out in DC,.”he said. ‘[These two groups are] educating policy makers around the benefits of this technology in this asset class. The catastrophic regulatory policy risk that maybe would have existed previously in DC is behind us.”

Trump: ‘Go after bitcoin’

Silbert’s comments come after reports last month that US President Donald Trump told Steve Mnuchin to “go after bitcoin” in the wake of bitcoin’s massive 2017 bull run that saw the price soar from under $1,000 per bitcoin at the beginning of the year to around $20,000 in under 12 months, according to a Forbes report.

“Don’t be a trade negotiator,” Trump reportedly told Mnuchin in May 2018, ordering him instead to: “Go after bitcoin [for fraud].”

Trump’s reported order came as Facebook was gearing up to unveil its bitcoin-inspired cryptocurrency, libra – something that caused Trump to tweet his opposition to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies last year, branding them “unregulated crypto assets” and based on “thin air.”

Institutional demand for Bitcoin

Grayscale reported a substantial increase in the inflow of cryptocurrencies for Q2 2020, which totaled $905.8 million. This was up from $503.7 million in Q1.

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