In the 1800s, a series of legal acts were passed in the United Kingdom that later became known as the Red Flag Acts. These acts were passed to address growing concerns about the safety of these strange new machines called “automobiles”.
The acts were so named because every time an automobile entered a town, a man was required to walk in front of it with a red flag that notified the town’s citizens of the danger headed their way. These acts also put strict speed limits on those driving the vehicles inside of town and on country roads.
But what they really did was something far more damaging. These acts stifled innovation. The UK fell behind on the rapidly growing automotive industry and other countries raced ahead. It was later discovered that locomotive and horse and buggy companies had lobbied government officials to pass these acts in hopes of maintaining their control of (and to continue profiting from) the transportation industry. They saw the automobile as a threat and did what they could to “legally” shut it down.
They weren’t successful in protecting their outdated buggies. They weren’t successful because you can’t stop innovation. Once it gets into the hands of ordinary people, there is no going back. All they were successful in doing was delaying the inevitable change that was coming, a delay that hurt their country in the long run.
Sometimes, people don’t learn. We are right back at it today with something called the BitLicense. The BitLicense is an act aimed to regulate companies in the rapidly growing Bitcoin industry and we have now reached the final deadline.
Here is what the BitLicense looks like:
(Photo courtesy of Digital Currency Group)
While advocates for the BitLicense say they want to protect consumers, what the act really does is stifle innovation. It’s complex, expensive, and comes with a set of guidelines that make it nearly impossible for any startup to comply with.
At Genesis Mining, we pride ourselves on following the rules, being transparent, and doing everything in our power to push the industry forward. We are proud to serve over 50,000 customers and continue to grow every day.
Unfortunately, that changes today. Genesis Mining will not be able to comply with the regulations set forth by the proposed BitLicense and as such, we will no longer be able to accept customers from the state of New York. All current customers will be able to continue their services, but going forward, no one with an IP address from the state of New York will be able to purchase hashpower contracts with us.
We stand by the cryptocurrency community and believe this particular piece of legislation is unnecessary and is an obstacle to free market innovation. We also believe that is exactly what it set it out to do. Companies across the world today posted similar announcements about leaving New York, and while it may seem like a victory to those who passed it, it is important to understand the difference between winning a battle and winning a war. Those who passed this bill have only succeeded in winning a small battle, and as a result have set their state further behind.
Bitcoin is not going anywhere. It’s here to stay and there is nothing that anyone can do to stop it.
As Ghandi said, “First they laugh at you, then fight you, then you win”. Well, a few years ago Bitcoin was laughed at. We are now entering the fighting stage. But those opposing Bitcoin who are trying to stifle innovation should know one thing: the community is ready for a fight.