Where tech aligns

RETURN Podcast #2 with Nic Carter 

In the second episode of the RETURN podcast, Nic Carter sat down with Executive Editor Jon Stokes to discuss the crackdown on crypto ecosystems and Operation Chokepoint 2.0.

In this episode, Nic Carter discussed a wide range of issues facing the crypto industry and possible solutions to counter these developments. He is a general partner at Castle Island Ventures, a columnist for CoinDesk, and hosts the On the Brink podcast. 

The episode opens with the history of attempts to stifle crypto spaces. The original Operation Chokepoint 1.0 relied on threats; now we’re seeing more formalized regulations. The regulators are couching this under avoiding solvency issues. 

The banks are being deputized and pressured to not service crypto clients. Because bank charters are so challenging to get, building aligned financial institutions is nearly impossible.

Jon Stokes explained how the government has previously used these strategies to attack the NRA and other pro-gun organizations. At the same time, regulators and the media advocated restricting the use of credit cards in purchasing firearms. 

Chokepoint 2.0 refers to a pattern of tools governments and tech companies use to attack people and industries they don’t like. Unfortunately, this feature is built into the system and is very difficult to counter.

As the financial system becomes more precarious, we’re seeing a rally around Bitcoin tied to the reliquification of the markets. However, the scarcity of financial support is causing a lack of dynamism in the industry. This forces smaller players to look to other places around the world that are more friendly to their business, including Switzerland, Dubai, Portugal, Singapore, and Hong Kong. 

Carter explains they know they’ll never be able to stamp out Bitcoin; instead, they want to centralize the touch points and gain regulatory capture over those exchanges. Unfortunately, these centralized control mechanisms are becoming apparent in everything from media to AI to crypto. 

The way forward, according to Carter, for crypto and other industries will be to frame the conflict as a states rights issue and try to gain more local control. 

When asked about the threat of central bank digital currencies, he doesn’t believe there is the political will to implement a fed coin or other government crypto token. He cites the test case of China, where the adoption of a digital yuan has been a flop. 

The RETURN podcast is excited to interview some of the smartest, most controversial, and most interesting people from tech and culture in the coming year. We’ll explore what it means to remain human in the digital age. We’re currently in the approval process with Apple and Spotify; in the meantime, please subscribe to our Youtube channel. If you have guest suggestions, please contact our editors at [email protected].

In this episode:

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