Jamil Jaffer

Jamil Jaffer, founder and executive director of the National Security Institute at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School, talks to host Rich Goldberg about Tornado Cash, regulating cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, the possible weaponization of crypto by U.S. adversaries, privacy concerns, human rights and more.

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  1. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette

    Rich, another good show — and another show that leaves me feeling like I understand even less about this subject than I thought I did.

    I have a pretty good grasp of the crypto fundamentals, the math and software of cryptocurrency, of how the block chain works, of proof of work, etc. But I must still be missing some pretty big concepts here.

    Early in the interview you asked an excellent question. Your guest gave the usual enthusiastic endorsement of crypto as a “game changing” technology that would make finance “accessible” to new users. You asked exactly the right questions: who are those users, and what would crypto offer that, say, Venmo does not?

    Neither question was answered. There was a bit of talk of the wonders of the block chain, of SMS money transfers, and then the subject segued to NFTs (with all the vagueness and confusion that usually attends that topic).

    I’d still like to hear those questions answered, because we’re often told how crypto will revolutionize access to… something… for some underserved demographic. And I still don’t get it.

    The other thing that has me wondering if I’m missing an important part of the big picture here has to do with your guest’s claim that we don’t want China, N. Korea, etc., being the innovation leaders in crypto. We hear that a lot, and I’m trying to reconcile it with the oft-repeated claim of crypto enthusiasts that crypto is immune to government meddling in money supplies, etc. Isn’t the whole point of crypto that it’s decentralized, essentially an underground currency system immune to external manipulation (other than through brute force possession of more than half the total computing power)? If that’s true, what “innovation” are we worried that the Chinese, say, might create that could negatively impact our ability to use crypto?

    In short, what does it mean to have controlling “standards” in what was deliberately intended to be a decentralized and mathematically self-regulated system immune to fraud, control, and interference?

    I did very much appreciate that your guest wants less regulation. I also appreciated his acknowledgement that there is no moral equivalence between what China does and what the U.S. does in terms of surveillance, privacy intrusion, etc. I agree, and I’m always happy to hear it stated so clearly.

    Oh, and by the way, Rich, I appreciate your roulette strategy recommendation, but the “red 13” suggestion isn’t a winner: an the roulette wheel, number 13 is black. ;)


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