As The Bitcoin Price Surges, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong Issues ‘Worrying’ Bitcoin And Crypto Warning

Bitcoin has continued to climb over the last week, adding to a more-than-50% gain through December.

The bitcoin price has brushed $30,000 per bitcoin during the last 24 hours, hitting $29,300 per bitcoin on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, up four-fold from the beginning of 2020 and on track for its biggest monthly gain since May 2019.

Now, after the U.S. Treasury department proposed new “onerous” new bitcoin and crypto regulations, the chief executive of one of the world’s biggest exchanges, Coinbase, has warned they pose “a substantial intrusion into your privacy without good reason”—and called on the bitcoin and crypto community to “voice your concerns directly” with the Treasury.

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“The bottom line is that exchanges will need to collect the name and address for anyone that you send crypto or receive crypto from for any transaction worth over $3,000,” Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong warned in a blog post. “That is a substantial intrusion into your privacy without good reason—and a significantly more onerous regulation than traditional financial institutions are held to.”

The proposed bitcoin and crypto regulations, put forward by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network on December 18, could make it significantly easier for the government to track crypto transactions, with exchanges required to store personal information records and turn them over to the government on request.

“This is a big change and Treasury is not considering the impact it will have on you, our customers,” Armstrong wrote. “That worries us.”

The proposed regulation is currently subject to a 15-day comment period ending on January 4, however, this is shorter than the usual 60-day comment window.

“Even worse, as the comment period began on the Friday before Christmas, we really have fewer than nine days to weigh in on this important regulation that could have long-lasting consequences for anyone that interacts with crypto,” Armstrong added.

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As well as concerns over government scrutiny, bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges are a known point of weakness for crypto user privacy.

Earlier this month, the bitcoin and cryptocurrency community was rocked by a massive data breach that’s seen the personal information of over 270,000 bitcoin and cryptocurrency users published online. The data, stolen from popular France-based bitcoin and cryptocurrency hardware wallet Ledger in a July hack, was published on RaidForums, a marketplace for buying, selling, and sharing hacked information.

Elsewhere, as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission prepares for a lawsuit against Ripple, the creator of the XRP digital token, bitcoin and crypto investors have been warned regulators will one day “come down hard on bitcoin.”

“I’m waiting for the day that one of these regulators come down hard on bitcoin,” Canadian investor and television personality Kevin O’Leary told CNBC’s Squawk Box last week. “Grown men are going to weep when that happens. You will never see a loss of capital like that ever in your life. It will be brutal.”

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