A spirited defense of cryptocurrency

With assistance from Derek Robertson

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates- No, the crypto industry is not sorry.

As the world grapples with the ongoing crash, critics predict its demise, Washington weighs its response to this fiasco, and the dominant face of the crypto industry, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, is unfazed.

He remained defiant in his appearance at the Milken Middle East and Africa summit this morning, a stance shared by the other industry participants gathered here, who described the drama of recent days as little more than growing pains.

In front of a crowd just standing around, Zhao has defended himself against accusations of market manipulation, insisting his industry is now “healthier” than it was before he caused the crash of rival exchange FTX, and saying governments should stand on their own. When it comes to rehabilitation of the sector.

“Regulation is a key component of this,” he said, “but more importantly, players in the industry need to lead by example.”

Binance – already reported under investigation By the Department of Justice for possible money laundering violations – there is a risk from Washington of further scrutiny The role of the CEO In the demise of FTX.

But Zhao argued that his use of Twitter to broadcast his lack of confidence in FTX and its native token represents “transparency,” and that the meaning of market manipulation is ambiguous. “All of these things are not very well defined,” he said.

When asked, he also refused saying that cryptocurrency exchanges should be banned from holding their own tokens as reserves.

Among the attendees, there were more crypto-skeptics than traditional finance who saw the crash as an indictment of the industry. The terms “sham” and “serious” were used. But they still crowded in the foyer outside the ballroom at the Rosewood Hotel for their chance to watch “Darth Vaderof encryption.

Zhao mostly had the room on his side as he responded to many of his opponents.

Yesterday, crypto-skeptic economist Nouriel Roubini suggested that the UAE authorities expel Zhao from the country. Today, the CEO of Binance raised laughter by predicting that “extremely negative” people like Roubini “will remain poor overall.”

Chow also explained his relationship with Sam Bankman-Fried, who tweeted last week“I played with distinction; I won” to the unnamed “sparring partner”, an apparent reference to Chow.

“This tweet can only be written by a psychopath,” Zhao said, eliciting another round of laughter.

After being met on stage, Chow was mobbed by those in attendance who lined up to take pictures with him and twice refused to answer questions from DFD about the response brewing in Washington.

The mood in Abu Dhabi — which is among a group of Gulf states that have sought to boost the digital asset industry — provided a marked contrast to the shocking content of the latest news, which had the industry bracing for government crackdowns.

Zhao is based in neighboring Dubai, and there is no indication that the UAE will take Roubini’s advice and drive him out of the country. Abu Dhabi Global Markets, the local regulator, announced yesterday that it has awarded Binance an amount New license To provide financial services.

Local crypto entrepreneurs largely shared Zhao’s view that the current crash is a natural consequence of free market operations. “I see this as a huge opportunity,” said one. “She’s cleaning up.”

On the other hand, Paris Hilton — who held out the Metaverse in an adjoining room during Chow’s appearance — declined to comment on the meltdown.

“I’m just excited to be here in Milken,” she said.

An impressive split screen was shown yesterday The crypto world is still experiencing the FTX meltdown: like the rest of the market Continue reel Bankman Fried Medal He shed his courage To a reporter, sober-minded industrialists gathered in the capital for Blockchain Association Policy Summit.

“I didn’t know when our team started planning this summit six months ago how important it would be for us all to be gathered here today,” said Christine Smith, chair of the Gathering Blockchain Association. Cryptocurrency continued to multiply The promise of “decentralization”a particularly pointed line given the collapse of the industry’s second-largest platform, saying “Our goal isn’t to make minor adjustments around the edges of the legacy financial system or the Web2 Internet. It’s to rebuild today’s flawed infrastructure from the ground up.”

More than ever, their work is cut out for them. In today’s Morning Money newsletter, POLITICO’s Sam Sutton reports that Congress is preparing to pull Bankman-Fried and other players ahead of various hearings, and Victoria Guida reports that Federal Reserve’s regulatory czar Michael Barr is defending regulatory authority over stablecoins, saying products like USDC from Circle “really borrows the confidence of the Federal Reserve.” – Derek Robertson

Henry Kissinger was born in 1923. three years ago The first transistor was proposed It can be said that The first integrated circuit It was produced (and, for appropriate geopolitical context, one year after the formation of the Soviet Union).

And the century-old statesman still keeps abreast of technical innovations, although they have come a long way since the era of vacuum tubes: Yesterday’s event, Kissinger described How encouraged by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to educate himself on AI technology, he launched what now appears to be a years-long project of self-discovery.

Kissinger takes a decidedly philosophical approach to technology: “I think it is one of the great revolutions in human consciousness, comparable to the Age of Enlightenment… We are surrounded by so many machines whose real thinking we may not know, but we know what they can produce,” he said. “When the world begins to live in a situation in which a large proportion of what they experience they cannot explain its origin except that it was produced by algorithm… it will bring about a change in human perception.”

His observation is clever: today’s most powerful AI systems are so sophisticated, with so many parameters, that even their designers don’t fully understand what’s going on under the hood at all times. As Kissinger describes, this could have serious ramifications when AI systems are used in high-stakes areas of policy such as defense and diplomacy. – Derek Robertson

Stay in touch with the whole team: Ben Schrekinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson ([email protected]); Steve Houser ([email protected]); And the Benton Ives ([email protected]). Follow us @employee on Twitter.

Ben Schreckinger covers technology, finance, and politics for POLITICO; He is an investor in cryptocurrencies.

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