Jack Ma has produced more results for Xi Jinping than Xi Jinping. Still, after singlehandedly providing the platform to expand the digital Chinese economy globally, Mr. Jinping still can’t even provide the legroom for Good Ol’ Jack to hit another home run. Why? Because this time, Jack’s messing with the money. This should tell you something about how scared governments are of financial sovereignty and how they will react to citizens learning about it and obtaining it.
Immature, frightened reactions to this will not be limited to China, by the way. It’s hilarious how blind citizens are to the infractions of their own government. Just because the US takes the extra step of moralizing their authoritarianism (see the Silk Road fiasco) doesn’t make it any less authoritarian. Capitalism and communism are both just an -ism when their complete sovereignty is threatened, and that’s what a healthy crypto market does.
The US government has a much more insidious way of protecting its sovereignty. Instead of directly scuttling a big private IPO like Ant Group, it would place so much regulation on it that it would become an unofficial government subsidiary. The US is trying to do this to crypto exchanges that are otherwise in good standing. They are moralizing all the way, saying that the leveraged trading options of these exchanges are somehow illegal or immoral or something. Shills like Elliotrades are helping the narrative instead of fighting it.
Leveraged trading options wouldn’t be a problem if the government bailed out everyone like they bail out Wall Street traders when they lose. I’m just saying.
In a previous post laying out some of my far fetched, nonsensical conspiracy theories about where bitcoin is going if we’re all just a bunch of lazy, selfish, entitled suckers, I had a commenter say that bitcoin could never be co-opted because it would require too much government cooperation.
Hopefully, the Ant Group shutdown will help you see that countries with supposedly opposing political philosophies will act the exact same under certain conditions. Crypto provides one of those conditions — financial sovereignty for individuals.
Now Jack Ma wasn’t shut down for crypto persay. The Ant Group was looking to create a digital payments structure outside of the purview of the Chinese government. The IPO represented the biggest IPO in the history of the modern world ($34 billion already raised). It hurt China to stop this. They literally put thousands of businesses on hold in order to maintain more control of the payments structure in the country.
Those who believe the US is somehow behaving differently are living under a rock. California Congressman Brad Sherman recently showed his hand by introducing legislation to completely ban all crypto. This is objectively a bad move for the US, as the recent purchases of bitcoin by Square, MicroStrategies, et al. showcased. Go to a video sharing channel and listen to his argument in chambers. He didn’t try to hide the reason for his legislation — he just straight up said that cryptocurrency threatened the primacy of American financial positioning in the world. He didn’t produce a moral argument because he didn’t have a moral argument. His true philosophy was laid bare.
The US government is already dealing with tech companies that have gotten too big for their britches. Facebook gave the middle finger to the IRS when called to court to discuss tax issues. Apple fought the government on releasing client information. In its rush to create the world’s greatest business infrastructure under Reagan, Clinton and Bush, the US actually undermined its own autonomy. It let these companies get so big that they actually gained more than billions and billions of dollars. They gained political sovereignty.
If Libra was a reality, Facebook would be a country, no exaggeration. Were they allowed to do so, any company in the FAANG set could easily begin paying dues and do business directly with the World Bank like it was a sovereign and fully recognized government. This, more than anything, is what the US, China and every other world power wants to avoid. And they all have the same perspective on this issue. Biden and Jinping could easily put aside their political differences to clamp down on crypto. Easily. And that’s what we need to look out for.