A petition calling for cryptocurrency to be banned in the UK for their alleged “destabilizing influence” has gathered just 88 of the 100,000 signatures it needs to be debated by Parliament.
Independent financial advisor Neil Liversidge lodged the petition this week, who (judging by his Twitter feed) has held a
pathological hatred deep suspicion of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for quite some time.
Liversidge’s claims echo tropes regularly pushed by crypto critics — that it has no intrinsic value, is often used for criminal activity, and is in no way essential to legitimate citizens and businesses, yadda yadda.
Not only that, “banning crypto transactions in the UK would impede criminals that rely on these currencies, and could also affect faith in the currency and so lead to a fall in prices, reducing the wealth and power of those holding cryptos”.
As you might expect, his attempts to bring down the entire crypto ecosystem aren’t going over well with Bitcoin fans on social media.
It must be said that Liversidge’s claim that Bitcoin is primarily used for criminal activity was debunked in 2019 by blockchain analytics crew Elliptic.
Elliptic teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s IBM Watson AI Lab to study more than 200,000 Bitcoin node transactions — and found just 2% were tied to illicit activity.
But to his credit, Liversidge hasn’t bowed to the pressure, and even seems to be having fun responding to his new haters.
Liversidge’s petition, which went live on New Year’s Eve, has six months to garner the 99,900-odd signatures required for this mess to be debated by politicians on the taxpayer’s dime.