Cathie Wood, founder of investment manager ARK Invest, has said the U.S. is 'losing' the bitcoin movement owing to its regulatory system.
Speaking at Fortune's Most Powerful Next Gen conference last week, Wood described how the center of gravity of cryptocurrency is moving away from the U.S, using the example of crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) receiving licensing to operate in Bermuda while also looking to expand its presence in Singapore.
In the crypto world, ARK Invest is best known for its regular sizeable orders of COIN stock.
"It would be nice if the U.S. were leading this movement, but we're losing it, and we're losing it because of our regulatory system," Wood said.
Frustration over the regulatory picture for crypto in the U.S. is largely directed at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its insistence that the industry does not require any bespoke framework beyond existing securities laws, not to mention ongoing disputes with Coinbase and Ripple.
Cathie Wood also referenced last year's dramatic collapse of crypto exchange FTX, saying it "proved the concept" of bitcoin, as did this year's banking crisis in which Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate and Signature all went to the wall. Wood believes these crises underlined the dangers of centralization in financial systems, something to which bitcoin runs counter.
"The reason it’s adopted is, first of all, many people like the idea of a decentralized, transparent, auditable monetary system. It was born out of the 2008/2009 crisis, when people just lost all trust in financial services," she said.
"And, very interestingly, it took another two crises within the last year to prove the concept. FTX failed because it was centralized, opaque, and not auditable."
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.