Growing Up Into Regulation

At the recent hearings in New York about Bitcoin regulation venture capitalist Fred Wilson made an interesting point. Here is the Youtube recording:

He mentioned that many of the startup companies in the Bitcoin space are very small, with only a couple of people working there. That in turn makes it difficult for them to take all the hurdles of regulation that a big bank with thousands of employees can easily navigate.

So he called for some sort of system where people can set up a company, try out a product, see if there is a market for it, and then apply for necessary licenses once they grow to a certain size.

I think that is a good idea.

And applying that to the special case of MtGox, I think they are now firmly in the “grown up” territory. With over a million customers depositing potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, they are big enough to give some serious thought to compliance.

And they have the funds to pay some lawyers to deal with these questions for them.

Update: After I posted this, it seems that MtGox has closed down completely, Mark Karpeles is not available for comment, and customers’ funds are gone. That of course means that it is too late to protect depositors at MtGox, but my point above is still valid. They were big enough to comply, and probably the Japanese Financial Services Authority should have stepped in earlier.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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