ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees says “You can’t change the world in a smooth, predictable curve”. The original article by Christina Comben was published on CoinCentral.
ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees
ShapeShift Co-Founder and CEO Erik Voorhees has a reputation in the crypto world and one of the original players in the space. He’s opinionated, outspoken, and no fan of the SEC.
A serial entrepreneur and disrupter who doesn’t mince his words, Erik shares about days gone by, days to come, and why this bear market is a mere blip on the horizon of a global decentralized financial system.
In the early days, Bitcoin was 100 percent of what we all cared about.
“There was no blockchain movement. There were no other assets, except perhaps Namecoin. The primary purpose everyone cared about was changing currency itself, and the focus was on getting merchant adoption.
Further, the community was much more monocultured. It was almost entirely English-speaking, technical, 20- to 35-year-old males. Today, the ecosystem is far broader and more diverse, in assets, purpose, and demographics. This is a tremendous sign that the ecosystem is growing.”
There Is Hope Despite the Bear Market
Hearing about growth is encouraging when you’re in the middle of what feels like crypto carnage and things keep leaping from bad to worse. Yet seasoned players like Erik aren’t scared of these bear markets— they’ve been through them before– and far worse than the current one.
Nine months isn’t a long bear market.
“After the 2013 bubble, there were three years before we hit new highs! These markets move in hype cycles, and as long as people pay attention to the technology and utility, rather than the price, they can get through bear markets be they long or short.
There will be many more bear and bull markets as crypto pulls in the world’s financial system and reforms it. One cannot change the world in a smooth, predictable curve.”
A Borderless Financial System
Why is it so important to the ShapeShift CEO to decentralize money and ensure it’s out of government or any central authority’s control? Why is he so immersed in the subject and what’s so wrong with the current system the way it is? His answer explains a lot.
Money is a protocol, like language.
“Money is how people interact with each other for the purpose of exchange, while language is how people interact with each other for the purpose of communication. Both are extremely important, far too important to be in the hands of any central party.
Governments should not have the ability or right to censor and control language, nor declare what language is or how people use it. Similarly, they should not have the ability or right to censor and control money, nor declare what money is or how people use it.
That’s a philosophical or moral argument. There is also an economic one: markets function better when they are left alone (largely due to informational complexity), and money is the most important good in a marketplace, therefore the most economically destructive when put in the hands of a coercive monopoly.
I believe that any successful crypto projects help crypto itself grow toward wider adoption, resiliency, and impact, and my ultimate goal is really to help the world transition from a fiat-based financial system to a crypto-based financial system; one which is open and borderless.”
You have to admit, Erik makes an incredibly compelling argument. Many of us have had it fairly easy where money’s concerned. And by that, I don’t mean it falls into our laps or we don’t work hard for what we earn. But the majority of us haven’t seen our life savings wiped out by hyperinflation or our stock portfolio or pensions destroyed by market manipulation.
Rotten Apples in the Barrel Must Go
Erik has also accused the establishment of cronyism in an interview with Bloomberg.
“Cronyism occurs when people utilize political power for economic gain. We’ll never change the human instinct toward seeking this, but what we can change is to reduce the scope of political power (i.e. reduce the role of government in our lives). By reducing the role of government, the natural tendency toward cronyism is more contained and has a smaller effect and less damaging consequences.”
But is that starting to happen in the cryptocurrency space? Is there concerns about cryptocurrency going down the same path as fiat currency? Is it inevitable?
Share and discuss on the future of cryptocurrency.
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