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We shouldn’t ban Bitcoin, says former FDIC Chair Sheila Bair

The former director of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Sheila Bair has doubled down on her stance in stating cryptocurrencies like bitcoin shouldn’t be outlawed.

The former chairperson of the FDIC, a US federal government agency that provides insurance to bank deposits, has suggested regulation of activities surrounding cryptocurrencies instead of a blanket ban enforced by the likes of China on crypto markets. The high-profile former official said bitcoin is similar to US dollars in lacking an “intrinsic value”.

In a wide-ranging interview with Barrons, Bair was quoted as stating:

“I don’t think we should ban it – the green bills in your pocket don’t have an intrinsic value, either. The value is based on what others think is its value. That’s true of any currency.”

Bair has expressed similar opinions on cryptocurrencies in the past, arguing that the value of ‘money’ since the dawn of commerce has depended “more on psychology than physical attributes”.

Bair, who served as FDIC chair under both Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama from 2006-2011 has previously been ranked by Forbes as the world’s second most powerful woman after German chancellor Angela Merkel. Among other roles, Bair is now a member of blockchain startup Paxos’ board of directors.

Bair’s endorsement of bitcoin goes hand-in-hand with her suggestion that authorities should bring regulation that focuses on “good disclosure, education, warding off fraud and making sure it is not used for illegal activities.”

It’s a hands-off approach that suits crypto markets everywhere else, she insisted, stating:

“Let the market figure out what it’s worth. That is what it is doing now.”

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