White House official says there are benefits to bitcoin, other digital currencies

Rob Joyce, special assistant to US President Donald Trump, has made a rather startling statement – something that wasn’t expected from a White House official.

He said that “There are benefits to the bitcoin concept — digital cash, digital currencies.” Joyce made the statements recently when he had said that they where studying and understanding the concept of digital currencies and it would take time for bitcoin regulations to be implemented in the US.

While the statement can’t be taken as a huge positive for the cryptocurrency regime, it is definitely something considering he is probably the first US government official to call it digital currencies, rather than virtual currencies. A slight difference in language that signals plenty.

But Joyce doesn’t seem to be very keen on irreversibility. “If you look at the way bitcoin works after there is a criminal act that takes place, you can’t rewind the clock and take back that currency,” he says.

Well, you can’t automatically do so, and in bitcoin you probably can’t even proactively because it might require reversing many unrelated transactions.

In smart contract based blockchains, however, you can reverse just that specific criminal or accidental transaction without affecting any other if you manage to persuade everyone else or if the free market gives that forked chain more value.

And in the future such reversals might perhaps even be automated in the code itself without any human intervention if it can be done. Just as the first versions of word-processors had no auto-saving or auto-recovery features initially, but later had them implemented.

Joyce, therefore, might be right that it is probably far too early to bring regulations at this point since this space is moving way too fast, but Congress could perhaps overrule some laws, such as IRS’s double taxation by stating gold like money is actually a commodity, or the discriminatory Securities Act which keeps everyone, but the rich, out of the value creation process.