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May 28, 2021

Regulators Cannot Actually Ban Bitcoin

By Stuart H. Russell

Bitcoin Magazine

In an article for Bitcoin Magazine, Nelson Mullins partner Stuart Russell explains the unlikelihood of a Bitcoin ban in the United States. Although countries like India, Nigeria, and Turkey have banned Bitcoin, Russell explains that there are numerous practical, legal, economic, and political factors that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the United States to follow suit. Rather, he writes, “regulators will face the challenge of writing laws that can be enforced without strangling the new opportunities for economic growth that Bitcoin offers those countries that embrace it.”

Despite criticism from government authorities and some business leaders, the numerous applications of Bitcoin for storing value, authentication, and sharing intellectual property promise to create new opportunities as the Internet did in the late 1990s and early 2000s. “Any ban or crushing regulation by the U.S. government would squander an opportunity to remain a world leader in new technologies,” writes Russell.

However, regulatory clarity will be needed to quell speculation about the “imminent demise of this emerging asset.” Russell warns such regulation must be narrowly tailored to avoid strangling the emerging Bitcoin economy. He concludes, “It could bring a newfound legitimacy to the digital asset, minimize its use for illicit purposes, and bring additional price stability.”