Could Net Neutrality Affect Bitcoin?
It's time to have an honest chat about a very scary topic: net neutrality.
For those of you who missed it, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal net neutrality on December 14th. This event could have major side effects for multiple parties, including small companies, internet users, and consumers.
And then there is digital currency.
That's right, the repeal of net neutrality could cause legitimate issues for the digital currency market.
Over the last year, the price of multiple digital currencies has skyrocketed. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin have all generated four-digit gains for investors, and they are just three tokens in a massively growing market.
These digital currencies "came of age" in a largely unregulated system.
Investors can purchase digital currencies on their phones and computers. They don't need to go through a broker or expensive trading service.
But the repeal of net neutrality could impact this access, making it harder for investors to capitalize on smaller tokens.
And that is why EVERY digital currency investor needs to be paying attention.
Over the course of this article, we are going to look at some of the possible effects the repeal of net neutrality could have on digital currency.
Keep in mind, even if these events don't come to pass, it is best to be prepared.
But First, What is Net Neutrality?
Net neutrality regulations were rolled out during the Obama era. It required that internet service providers (ISPs) treat all traffic fairly. All sites must be allowed to operate at the same speed, even if one site is less popular.
With the December 14th announcement, the FCC plans to pull back these regulations.
Companies may end up paying more just to keep websites operating at an effective speed, posing a risk to smaller companies with tighter budgets.
For consumers, this is also a big deal.
Removing net neutrality will impact your access to all of the resources on the web, and soon your browser could become a collection of slowly loading tabs. You also may end up paying more for access to certain sites.
The situation I just described may feel pretty dystopian, but it gets worse.
Repealing net neutrality could also have an effect on growing blockchain companies, many of which are small, launch through initial coin offerings, and rely heavily on internet marketing.
How Net Neutrality Could Affect Digital Currencies
As I said above, my concern for the digital currency market lies in the fact that it is composed of many small technology companies that have come onto the market through initial coin offerings.
Smaller exchanges could also have issues. Many tend to devote the vast majority of their funds to security, hiring, and maintenance.
If forced to pay premiums just for web speed, these digital tokens (ICO websites) and exchanges could be in a hurt locker.
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Larger digital currency exchanges like Coinbase will likely be able to foot the bill. Coinbase, as the world's leading software wallet, now operates more accounts than stock brokerage Schwab.
Digital currency investors have to worry that net neutrality could affect access to digital currency sites, slowing down initial coin offerings and altcoin exchanges.
And this could trickle all the way down to Bitcoin and Ethereum, which serve as reserve currencies for initial coin offerings.
In order to buy into many initial coin offerings, you have to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum first.
That means if people are finding it harder to access initial coin offerings, there may not be as large of a demand for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
But There is No Need to Panic Yet
Despite all this scary news, there really is no need to panic yet.
Measures have already been taken to assure that the repeal of net neutrality doesn't go through. Opponents of the repeal are gearing up to sue the FCC. Democrats are busy pushing legislation that would prevent net neutrality from going into effect.
And then there are the words of our internet overlords.
In the wake of the FCC decision, the large corporations that currently control our internet bills rushed to assure people that they have no interest in slowing down smaller sites.
Michael Powell, a former NCC chairman who now heads the cable and internet provider group NCTA, stated that the industry is not interested in the regulation of certain websites.
All of this means it could take us months to see the effects of net neutrality in our internet bills or browsers. More importantly, we may never see the effects.
Net neutrality wasn't even around before 2014, and the internet managed to do just fine.
That said, you would be foolish to turn a blind eye to the event.
The digital currency market is still evolving, and it can be easily rocked. We've seen initial coin offering bans send the market down 2%. When it was rumored that Vitalik Buterin died in a car crash, Ethereum saw massive sell-offs.
That means you should always be alert to events that could affect your digital currency investments.
And if you're looking for a resource to help you keep track of all those events, do I have a treat for you.
For a short time, we are offering our exclusive digital currency education service for FREE. This service gives you complete access to multiple educational videos and reports. It also will keep you up to date with a monthly newsletter called The Token Authority.
If you would like to learn more about this comprehensive service, click here.
Happy holidays, and best of luck with your investments,
@AlexandraPerryC on Twitter
Alexandra Perry is a contributing analyst for Wealth Daily and Energy and Capital. She has multiple years of experience working with startup companies, primarily focusing on artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, alternative energy, and biotech. Her take on investing is simple: a new age of investor can make monumental returns by investing in emerging industries and foundational startup ventures.
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