Mr. Wonderful believes that crypto requires more regulation and fewer “crypto cowboys” like Alexey Pertsev, developer of Tornado Cash, to establish stability for institutional inflows.
In a debate on Crypto Banter on Saturday, Mr. Wonderful, better known as Kevin O’Leary, stated that apps such as the Ethereum-based crypto mixer Tornado Cash are part of a “crypto cowboy” attitude that has no place in the sector.
Instead, O’Leary thinks that crypto requires a “rules-based environment” to attract true institutional money to the digital-asset business, and a significant portion of this regulation must eliminate protocols like Tornado Cash, which lets users perform anonymous transactions and consequently may be used for criminal behaviour.
While institutional interest in the digital-assets industry continues to rise, the venture investor said, “they won’t touch it as long as crypto cowboys are riding the fence.” O’Leary highlighted that “unless we get rid of this garbage,” there would be no “stability in […] institutional capital”; yet, he feels that the business is gradually filtering out “cowboys:”
“I believe we’ve reached that point now. Maybe we’re in the third or fourth inning, but I’ve had enough of this crypto cowboy nonsense. I want to work in a controlled environment where we can put billions of dollars to use. Because I work in the regulated sector, I do not need to be a crypto cowboy or choose to be one.”
However, O’Leary’s perspective contradicts the feeling of many in the field. The approval of the Ethereum-based privacy tool by the United States government last week outraged several influential crypto personalities who supported the necessity for fundamental privacy rights on decentralised networks.
Stefan George, a co-founder of Gnosis, was among many who backed Tornado Cash, arguing that the protocol provides Ethereum with “much-needed anonymity” and that building open-source software should be acknowledged as “an expression of free speech.”
The removal of Tornado Cash’s GitHub account, according to Chainlink’s Chief Developer Advocate Patrick Collins, is “far worse than penalising a website” since code is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.