Raoul Pal, the founder of Real Vision Finance, said he is unconcerned about the possibility of governments banning bitcoin.
His views sharply contrast with those of American billionaire Ray Dalio, who recently said governments will “outlaw” the crypto if its price rises high enough.
In an interview with Bankless, Pal said that when the administration of US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) banned the private ownership of gold bullion, certificates and coins in 1933, investors simply went abroad to buy and store it, which he believes will also be the outcome if Washington makes a similar move against bitcoin.
The former Goldman Sachs hedge-fund manager said, “This FDR thing comes up a lot. It was only the US that tried to ban it and the gold price went up and it didn’t work. So everybody else used gold, so there is exactly the example I’m using: if you ban one group from using gold, guess what? Switzerland exploded because the US citizens and others used Switzerland.
“That argument is always the wrong argument. Everyone says, ‘They’ll ban bitcoin, look what they did then!’ Well, they didn’t on a global scale. Could the IMF try on a global scale? Sure, but maybe Russia will say, ‘Well, we’ll use bitcoin.’”
Pal says the tide is turning in bitcoin’s favor to such a degree that governments, faced with currency devaluation resulting from excessive money printing, will likely begin adding it to their reserves as a hedge at some point.
“If you are Argentina and you’ve had endless currency devaluations, and you happen to go through an economic boom, well what happens if you started accumulating bitcoin in your reserves? Does that make your currency more valuable? Does it make it harder? Yes, it does…
“If you follow the argument of bitcoin, it ends up with adoption by the central banks. It doesn’t get there quickly, but it happens and we will see some small nation state doing this I think within the next five years. And that will be the little flag planted to say ‘Okay, there is further change coming,’ because as you guys are rightly pointing out, this system of endless printing is unsustainable.”
Providing support for Pal’s thesis, Iran, struggling under American sanctions that shut it out of the US dollar-dominated global financial system, recently began channeling domestically mined bitcoin into its central bank funding mechanisms for imports.
Bitcoin advocate in US Senate
If the US government does consider banning bitcoin, at least one senior politician will strongly oppose it.
Republican Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis, a former state treasurer, is a staunch advocate of the leading crypto.
In an ABC News interview, the Wyoming senator asserted that bitcoin is superior to the US dollar.
She said, “I do hope to bring bitcoin into the national conversation. I’m a former state treasurer and I invested our state’s permanent funds. I was always looking for a good store of value and bitcoin fits that bill.
“Our own currency inflates. Bitcoin does not. Twenty-one million bitcoin will be mined and that’s it. It is a finite supply. So I have confidence that this is going to be an important player in stores of value for a long time to come.”