Skip to main content

Swiss Bitcoin Entrepreneur Is Only Kind Of Saying That New York Is Like North Korea

He's just saying that Ben Lawsky is "Kim Jong Un-ish."

Life as an unregulated currency ain't easy, just ask Bitcoin.

But lately everyone's favorite cryptocurrency has had some big wins, perhaps the most notable of which being a tepid acceptance from New York State's chief financial regulator, Ben Lawsky.

Lawsky, who is actually about to step down from his gig as superintendent of NewYork's Department of Financial Services, has put the gears in motion to make Bitcoin a reality in the state. His BitLicense is essentially a framework that would make Bitcoin companies kosher by asking them to submit to some regulation.

But for Erik Voorhees, CEO of a Swiss-based digital currency exchange called ShapeShift, even a little regulation is pretty bad.

How bad? well, this is what Voorhees said to the NY Post...

“He’s certainly not as bad as Kim Jong Un,” Voorhees told The Post. “Does he require some of the same spying provision on his citizenry? Absolutely.”

That's... strong.

But maybe it's also a little bit much. Lawsky has never been the subject of rumors that have him feeding his uncle to a pack of feral dogs (which wouldn't be totally out of place in Albany these days), and he's got way better hari than the current dictator of the Hermit Kingdom.

So what gives Erik?

The problem, according to Voorhees, is that the regulations “re-connect” personal information to transactions that would otherwise be anonymous, creating a cybersecurity risk.

Essentially, Voorhees is pissed that Lawsky's regulation compels the users of a brand-new currency to transact in at least a dim glow rather than the total darkness that they prefer.

Whether or not youa gree with what Bitcoin is trying to do - and good arguments are being made form both side - the passive-aggressive vitriol coming off of Voorhees is indicative of the Bitcoin community's general lack of interest in negotiating with its philosophical adversaries and finding a middle way to cryptocurrency acceptance.

Perhaps there's a "flies with honey" lesson to be learned here.

But maybe we're being unfair, has Voorhees voiced his concerns directly to the Supreme Leader Lawsky?

While the DFS isn’t likely to budge from its position, Voorhees said, the protest could influence other states to take a more laissez-faire attitude.
“I’m hoping for it to be a conversation,” he said. “I don’t think the Department of Financial Services will listen to our arguments at all.”

Well, not now they won't.

Lawsky’s new bitcoin rules akin to ‘spying’ on users: critic [NYPost]


Andrew Cuomo Finding Good Help Hard To Find While Taking Overtly Political Potshots At Wall Street

Since Andrew Cuomo can't find a new chief banking regulator, Jamie Dimon would like to put his old lawyer's name in the sorting hat.

The Winkelvii's Bitcoin Exchange Idea Moves One Step Closer To Being Stolen, Copied And Improved

They're 6-5, 220 and there are two of them, so stay the f*ck away from their blockchain.


New DFS Head Maria Vullo Has No Boots For Walking, Still Intends To Walk All Over Banks

Ben Lawsky's replacement isn't stepping into his shoes as she apparently brought her own.