Lifelong Massachusetts politician, William Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth, turned sudden investment and currency expert this week, is issuing a seven-point warning about the perils of bitcoin. The uncharitable statement lands New England’s most populated region in the hostile category, joining a half dozen other states in anti-bitcoin mania.
Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Warns of Bitcoin “Disaster”
William F. Galvin published an official warning from his office this week, creatively titled, Secretary Galvin Warns about Bitcoin Mania. It’s a page and a half of seven bullet points. “Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin today warned investors not to get caught up in Bitcoin speculation,” the missive begins in third-person.
Mr. Galvin, 67, has spent his professional life exclusively in the public sector, holding elected office in various forms by as early as 1975, extending to the present (42 years).
“Bitcoin is just the latest in a history of speculative bubbles that most often burst, leaving the average investors with a worthless product,” his office quotes himself. “Going back to the 1600s with tulip mania to the present Bitcoin craze, chasing the next best thing will, more often than not, end in disaster for the average investor.”
“Bitcoin has also been the target of major hacks,” another sentence begins in rather treacherous territory. Bitcoin, as honest analysts know, has never been hacked. But third-party trust operations “at the exchange and wallet levels,” have, Mr. Galvin notes almost too late in the same sentence, failing to make an important distinction.
US States Hostile to Bitcoin
“Conflicting information about Bitcoin abounds,” Mr. Galvin continues, “with some calling it a ‘craze’ or a ‘bubble’ and others touting it as an amazing investment.” Why anyone would refer to such a scheme “as an amazing investment,” in light of his pronounced protestations to the contrary, isn’t made clear by the Secretary. Indeed, it is also not known how the man holding the ancestral office of Samuel Adams has determined bitcoin to be a bubble. Readers are left with only an appeal to authority, his — an authority found to be not in compliance with voting laws back in 2008 by yet another authority, the Department of Justice.
Mr. Galvin demonstrates his cryptocurrency illiteracy in point 6, curiously asserting the blockchain “is still experimental and is subject to changes, errors, or criminal activity which could adversely affect your virtual wallet or erase your Bitcoin value.” Back in 2014, bored Massachusetts state officials also issued warnings about bitcoin. It’s a way for them to attempt relevancy, the “do something” phenomenon so prevalent in US bureaucratic circles.
It joins Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York, and Washington as more or less hostile to bitcoin, though no legislation, as of this writing, has been proposed by Massachusetts.
Neighboring state, New Hampshire, has taken a completely different approach. Its Governor signed into law provisions exempting bitcoiners from ever having to be licensed to trade. The state actively encourages bitcoin businesses.