Nic Carter is a Partner at Castle Island Ventures and co-founder and Chairman of Coin Metrics. In this interview, we discuss Real Bedford, ordinals, the Bitcoin fee market, Bitcoin culture wars, layer 2 innovations, Chokepoint 2.0 and the 2022 banking crisis, and how people can stand up for Bitcoin against the current US administration.
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In categorising a covert attempt by the executive branch to restrict access to Bitcoin and crypto as a modern iteration of Operation Chokepoint, Nic Carter has brought much-needed attention to an otherwise nebulous sense of unease. Nic has clarified the meaning behind a series of different events, tying together inconsistent messages and suspicious decisions. His explicit analysis has even garnered the attention of a presidential candidate, Robert F Kennedy Jnr.
At face value, Chokepoint 2.0 is about the government’s hostility towards the crypto industry in the wake of FTX. That Bitcoin will be ensnared in this dragnet is of obvious concern. An innovation that could revolutionise and democratise money and energy could be restricted within the world’s leading economy. However, there is a bigger issue here: the circumvention of democratic norms. These restrictions are occurring without debate or scrutiny.
Then, to add import on top of import, there is the underlying rationale for these restrictions. In a week when the debt ceiling is again the subject of political horse-trading to allow sovereign debt to continue to grow to evermore eye-watering levels, these restrictions are an implicit imposition of soft capital controls on the American people. So, we have unprecedented restrictions on people’s freedoms to protect stores of value being done behind closed doors.
Put bluntly, the US government’s attempts to restrict the growth of the crypto industry by leaning on private banks are unconstitutional and violate due process. The social contract is being broken. Nic has suggested that injured parties should join efforts to sue the government to enable legal oversight of these decisions. In his opinion, this is a lawsuit that can be won.