In an interview last week, former U.S. Representative Ron Paul offered his thoughts on digital currency and suggested that government surveillance of cryptocurrency transactions was one of his biggest concerns. Paul, a longtime libertarian, noted that he was in favor of legalizing all forms of alternate currency while he was serving in the House of Representatives, and that opinion hasn’t changed:
“If the people want it and want to use it, the government should stay out of it.”
The former congressman was clearly concerned about government’s attempts to monitor digital currency transactions, and believes that there is already too much surveillance of “how the currencies are transferred, [how] the reports have to be made by the exchanges to the IRS.” He also pointed to government’s natural inclination to interfere with anything that seems to be working well:
“If it is a really good deal and a good process rest assured the government will be looking at it very carefully…it makes me very nervous.”
Paul’s recent comments are a clear example of the progress Bitcoin and other digital currencies have made in recent years. Back in 2013, the congressman’s response to questions about Bitcoin focused more on the intangible nature of digital currency: “To tell you the truth, it's little bit too complicated. If I can't put it in my pocket, I have some reservations about that." What a difference four years can make.