09/27 update below. This post was originally published on September 26
Bitcoin BTC and crypto have been hit by severe uncertainty this year, with a U.S. crypto crackdown followed by the Federal Reserve creating a bitcoin price nightmare.
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The bitcoin price is languishing under $30,000 per bitcoin, in part due to fears the U.S. is waging a secret war against crypto (though Microsoft MSFT and Elon Musk could each be about to blow up the crypto market).
Now, a leak has revealed U.S. president Joe Biden could be about to issue an executive order on artificial intelligence that could have a serious spillover to bitcoin and crypto, setting "alarm bells" ringing.
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MORE FROM FORBESShock Crypto Leak Reveals Microsoft Could Be About To Blow Up The Price Of Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP And BNBBy Billy Bambrough
"The upcoming White House executive order on AI raises some alarm bells for crypto," Alexander Grieve, head of government affairs at bitcoin and crypto-focused investment company Paradigm, posted to X (Twitter), linking to a Semafor report that cites anonymous sources.
The report claims companies like Microsoft, Google GOOG , and Amazon AMZN would be forced to disclose "when a customer purchases computing resources beyond a certain threshold."
Grieve points to a part of the report that refers to computing power as a "national resource" and that "mining bitcoin, developing video games, and running AI models like ChatGPT" all require "large amounts of compute."
The bitcoin network, which requires so-called miners to validate transactions in return for freshly-created bitcoin using high-powered computers, is thought to use more electricity annually than some small countries. Following China's 2021 bitcoin mining ban, the U.S. has become home to more bitcoin miners than any other country.
09/27 update: Paradigm has announced the creation of a so-called Policy Lab that it claims will bring together crypto experts in a "first of its kind" group to produce "cutting-edge research, commentary and advocacy on the most critical policy issues facing crypto and other frontier technologies" while a Research Hub will work to "uncover and tackle discrete policy questions relevant to the future of the crypto ecosystem."
"Over the past year, Paradigm has established itself as a policy leader, engaged in everything from fighting for crypto in court, to convening opinion leaders, to publishing policy-centric research," Policy Lab co-heads Rodrigo Seira and Brendan Malone, who worked at the Federal Reserve Board before joining Paradigm, wrote in a blog post seen by The Block.
The investment company has waded into regulatory and policy issues before. Last month, Paradigm filed an amicus brief supporting crypto exchange Coinbase in its long-running legal spat with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
"Currently, the White House views tech jobs and dev talent and energy as scarce national resources and therefore zero sum—particularly [with respect to] crypto," Grieve said, speculating that bitcoin mining could be considered "robbing families of power" and working in crypto would take development talent "away from 'real' applications."
"If we start viewing compute capacity in a similar way, and reporting on who is using how much of it, expect similar political and media pressure to be targeted at cloud service providers that service large crypto industry players," Grieve added, calling it "Operation Choke Point, but for computing power."
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MORE FROM FORBESSurprise 'Flip' Primes Bitcoin For A Tesla And Elon Musk Bombshell That Could Cause Crypto Price ChaosBy Billy Bambrough
The traditional financial service sector pull-back from the crypto market this year has been branded "Operation Choke Point 2.0" by some in the crypto industry who fear it's been directed by the U.S. government and regulators.
The original 2013 Operation Choke Point was a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to discourage banks from working with firearm dealers, payday lenders, and other companies believed to be at a high risk for fraud and money laundering.
Earlier this month, Binance CEO Changpeng "CZ" Zhao issued a "frank" Operation Chokepoint 2.0 warning.