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Wozniak says governments will kill cryptocurrency growth

By Alison Hunt

Apple co-founder warns against the stifling effects of heavy regulation

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has warned that heavy regulation is in danger of stifling the potential benefit of cryptocurrencies.

Wozniak is a supporter of novel blockchain cryptocurrencies that are transparent about who owns what. He himself co-founded EQUI Global (Capital), a venture capital firm that uses its own digital currency of EquiTokens.

Cryptocurrencies have been seen as a way to help the 1.7bn people in the world without access to a bank account.

Wozniak, however, is concerned about the effects of heavy regulation. At the Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki, Wozniak said that, as cryptocurrencies spread, “countries will only want control, because countries make their money controlling their currency”. If governments do introduce such tight regulations on cryptocurrencies, they could stifle their growth, he added.

When Facebook announced plans for its own digital coin, Libra, in June it met concern from the UK, the US and France.

The French finance minister Bruno Le Maire argued that alternative payment systems such as Libra pose financial risks and could threaten the “monetary sovereignty” of governments. Their anonymity, he added, makes them attractive for money laundering or even to fund terrorism.

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