One of the ‘Big Four’ of professional services firms, British multinational Deloitte published a paper Bitcoin at the Crossroads, arguing that it might be too early to regulate the virtual currency and the distributed ledger.

The author of the paper, Jon Watts, a core member of Deloitte, offers three main reasons why bitcoin and blockchain should not be regulated. The first reason is the current scale and market impact of bitcoin which “is just a drop of water in the ocean that is the financial industry.” Many people probably heard about virtual currency but few are those who actually own bitcoins or use them.

Another reason is the fact that other innovations had more time to develop before being regulated, says the author. According to his calculations, radio and mobile phones became regulated only 20-24 years after their invention, and such novelties as telephone, airplane and Internet had more than 35 years of unobstructed development. Bitcoin is only six years old.

Finally, “bitcoin’s most valuable and important uses” are probably not yet discovered, says Watts. Current regulators’ attempt “to protect the public from all of the bad outcomes we might anticipate today” and are probably crushing “myriad unimaginable capabilities that could potentially change the world for the better.”

The author wonders whether it is not the best to leave the market an opportunity to decide. If bitcoin is really useful and creates value, it would achieve mass adoption; if not, it would die out. In any case, stresses Watts, “given the potential of the technology to disrupt both the financial services and technology industries”, United States should be interested in collaborating with bitcoin industry groups to provide a supportive environment for the cryptocurrency.

Deloitte is the second largest professional services network in the world, one of the ‘Big Four’, a group of massive professional services networks of audit.


 Alexey Tereshchenko