As an alternative to state-issued mediums of exchange, cryptocurrencies can be expected to provoke the hostility of governments. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
The big worry among the bitcoin perma-bears is the threat of government ‘making it illegal.’
The latest bogeyman on this front is none other than U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Rumors float that he’s considering outlawing ‘self-custody wallets,’ in effect confiscating the private keys of everyone’s cryptos.
In a Twitter-thread, the chief executive [of Coinbase Brian Armstrong] said that his firm “heard rumors” about the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s plans to introduce fresh rules for “self-custody wallets” by the end of his term.
The open nature of cryptocurrencies allows anyone to create a private wallet by downloading third-party software on their computers/smartphones or through hardware devices that store digital assets. These types of self-custodial solutions come cheaper than traditional financial services — and they ensure privacy.
Those rumors are apparently valid since Mnuchin received a letter from four Congressmen imploring him not to do such a monumentally stupid thing.