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Extremism and Cryptocurrency: The Story Too Big to Ignore

In this episode, Anna Baydakova, Danny Nelson, and Tanzeel Akhtar discuss livestreaming the insurrection on a blockchain, Iran taking the mining industry under control, and if Europe can regulate bitcoin.

January 19, 2021

In this episode, Anna Baydakova, Danny Nelson and Tanzeel Akhtar discuss why one of Justin Sun’s companies is linked to extremism, the insurrection of the Capitol on a blockchain, Iran taking the mining industry under control and also if Europe can regulate bitcoin.

Rioters storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, livestreamed the action in DLive; a video streaming platform owned by BitTorrent, which, in turn, is owned by the Tron founder Justin Sun. They also received donations through the blockchain-based service. Crypto, extremism, deplatforming and the history of Justin Suns' ventures all are wrapped up in this story, which is too big to ignore.

The government of Iran wants to control crypto mining and has clamped down on miners again. In January, the country shut down 1,620 illegal cryptocurrency mining farms. The mining operations were disconnected from the national power grid and miners will face prosecution. Iran has been cash-strapped by the international sanctions for years, and bitcoin looks like another way to get the government the money it needs. But will it work? And will the rest of the world allow it?

In Europe, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde is eager to go after “funny business” in the cryptocurrency markets. Lagarde believes the world needs to adopt comprehensive regulation to stop criminals, such as money launderers, from turning to bitcoin for help. She has called bitcoin a "highly speculative" asset. This is not the first time Lagarde has cautioned that cryptocurrencies should be taken seriously and called for global cooperation among worldwide regulators. Whether or not Lagarde is being taken seriously is yet to be seen.

CoinDesk reporters Anna Baydakova, Danny Nelson and Tanzeel Akhtar mentioned these stories in today’s episode:

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