Crypto Analysis: Polkadot

SUMMARY

  • Project name: Polkadot
  • Ticker symbol: DOT
  • Token type: Protocol Layer
  • Consensus mechanism: PoA to NPOS
  • Key exchanges: BitForex, HotBit, BigOne
  • Exchange volume: $6,649,355 USD
  • Total Supply: 10,000,000 DOT
  • ROI: -13.83%

Overview

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies were first started with the Protocol time period and Bitcoin the original cryptocurrency following the 2008 Financial crisis. It dealt with the creation of an alternative currency that can transfer value independently of financial instutions protected by cryptography and novel technology. The second period within the cyber space was marked by the creation of Ethereum and the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), its programmable smart contracts and the ability to built applications on top of the blockchain opened a space of opportunities and use cases. The third period within the blockchain space is about to begin in 2020 as the period of interoperability within the cyber space aiming at getting protocols to be openly communicating and transferring information between each other. Protocols that are open to transacting between one another creating an open space for all blockchains. An open space where mutual connectivity and transaction throughput is massively accelerated but still offering the same security and access. Polkadot is one of the first protocols that has the technology and capacity to work towards the achievement of interoperable Web 3.0 decentralized world. A world where each blockchain operates in the same network as others rather than a closed circuit within its current protocol. Polkadot is a sharded multichain network. It consists of a main chain called the relay chain and multiple sharded chains called parachains. The network advances its design from Ethereum 2.0 by implementing interoperability as a heterogeneous multi-chain rather than as a homogeneous multi-chain. It can process many transactions on several chains in parallel, eliminating the bottlenecks that occurred on legacy networks that processed transactions one-by-one. In addition, the higher level of abstraction and allows interoperability between more classes of cyberspace economies. Interoperability is one of the main strengths of the project but so is the speed of transactions that could be achieved. Improved scalability means the solidified pathway towards general adoption and future growth. One of the final foundational pillars around blockchains is governance. Polkadot will have a democratized structure of managing the protocol. Its governance will include a Council, a Technical Committee, and public referendum.

Key features:

  • Nominated Proof of Stake (NPOS) – network is secured by the economic stake that is bonded to the validators. Initially, Polkadot will operate as a Proof-of-Authority (PoA) chain that is maintained by six validators belonging to Web3 Foundation. Once Web3 Foundation is confident in the stability of the network and there are a sufficient number of validators the intention of the network will be to switch to the fully fledged NPOS.
  • Parachains – the project uses multiple sharded blockchains connected together as well as having the ability to connect to other blockchains into one network. As each blockchain protocol like Cardano or Zilliqa is created to serve particular use cases and having particular features the data and value can pass between them through the use of Polkadot.
The Polkadota blochchain schematic.

Management

Polkadot is the flagship product that the Web3 foundation is seeking to excel forward. The organisation deals with building and investing in novel technologies within the blockchain and cryptographic space. It is incorporated in Switzerland and is lead by team of researches and developers from ETH Zurich and Parity Technologies. It was founded by the Ethereum co-founder Dr. Gavin Wood who also spearheads Polkadot project. The project has raised more than $140m through it’s ICO and private investment rounds that include contributors such as IOSG, Polychain Capital and Fabric Ventures.

Development

The project is still in its very early stages so there is a lot of plans outlined ahead. There are Polkadot implementations developed in Rust, C++, Go, and JavaScript. For example, Kosame and Gassomer are all dealing with solving issues on digital identity and security. The protocol specification are being considered under a Creative Commons license and the code being placed under a FLOSS license. There has been a significant increase in commits in 2020 within the project’s github repository. Polkadot repo has more than 800 commits where Gavin’s putting serous work into the development with 200+ commits and 10,000s lines of code.

The Polkadot network will have a phased roll-out plan, with important milestones toward decentralization marking each phase.

SWOT

Strengths

  • Polkadot allows any type of data to be sent between any type of blockchain
  • Scallability can be greatly increased as multiple channels run together increased the amount of transactions that can be processed within the network.
  • No forks of any type required as the blockchain can update itself enacted by the open governance process on the network.

Weaknesses

  • Late development of the project compared to Cosmos and the fact that Ethereum is already working on a scalability solution that may help reduce market share.

Opportunities

  • Web3 Foundation has a grants programs offered for developers wishing to build and contribute to the network.
  • Solving the interoperability bottleneck and the ability to co-operate between other blockchains may present significant economic benefits to the network.

Threats

  • Polkadot has not fully launched yet and it will require a lot of impetus to gain traction and become competitive with the other protocol which have already got a significant community and developers universe established.
  • Technical difficulties in applying the key interoperability feature may undermine one of the main goals of the project.

Finally, Polkadot offers interoperability and cross-chain communication that can set the scene for the third stage of development of blockchain technology. Significant backing as well as technical expertise from the greatest minds of the blockchains space working on the project give confidence of the high probability of it’s success. The clear and action-packed road map is in full swing where the only thing left to see is the delivery upon it.

References:

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer. The Content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Crypto Analysis: Tezos

SUMMARY

  • Project name: Tezos
  • Ticker symbol: XTZ
  • Token type: Infrastructure Protocol
  • Genesis block: June 30, 2018
  • ROI: 501.79%
  • Consensus mechanism: LPoS
  • Key exchanges: Binance, OKex, Coinbase, Kraken, Huobi, Bitfinex
  • Exchange volume: $124,485,797 USD
  • Wallets: Galleon Wallet, AirGap, Kukai, ZenGo, Ledger, Trezor

Overview

The battle of the protocols has been fierce and ongoing for the few years where we are still seeing new types coming up with slight differences in features, consensus mechanism, governance and possible use cases. Hard forks and disagreement have broken down the developer community even with the strongest projects while governance has always been a topic of polarized opinions. Enter Tezos, a blockchain platform that supports smart contracts and dapps, based on the idea of a digital commonwealth in which governance is to be democratized in an efficient and sustainable manner to avoid costly hard-fork scenarios. Tezos is a self-amending blockchain ledger that can be upgraded as seen fit by the community staked in the network. In July 2017, Tezos raised $232 million in BTC and ETH through an Initial Coin Offering, making it one of the largest ICOs in the industry. There has been legal issues on the securitized fundraise, but Tezos is a legitimate project ran by a star team that has a great product in the works.

Product

Tezos supports Turing complete smart contracts and provides a platform for building smart contracts and decentralized applications. It also facilitates formal verification helping secure smart contracts and avoid bugs with the protocol. This way a flexible environment for developers is created providing a launchpad for ideas within the decentralized space. One of the main issues that blockchains deal with is the issue around governance. Tezos tackles this problem through the use of a number of processes that happen in cycles leading up to agreed implementation of suggested features. Those can be observed in the table below:

Protocol amendments are adopted over election cycles that are 131,072 blocks long, or roughly three months. Transparent stakeholder community additionally improves governance as well as providing assurance on who actually votes and runs the blockchain exposing bad actors. One feature engineered by the project’s creators is the low level of current annual inflation of 5.5% with an average transaction fee $0.00232. This provides a stable base for price increase while the cheap transactions give competitive advantage versus other similar projects in the space.

Key features:

  • Self-amendment: The protocol can “upgrade itself” without having to fork the network into two different blockchains. The self-amendment process is split into four periods: the Proposal Period, Exploration Vote Period, Testing Period and Promotion Vote Period. Each of these four periods lasts eight baking cycles (i.e., 32,768 blocks or roughly 22 days, 18 hours), which is approximately three months from proposal to activation.
  • Liquid Proof-of-Stake (LPoS): LPoS assigns the probability of block production based on the proportion of stake held by each validator; and there is no limit to the number of bakers in the system. Bakers compete for holders’ XTZ by charging lower fees than others.
  • On-chain governance: All stakeholders can participate in protocol governance either directly or indirectly, through delegation.

Management

The Tezos foundation is incorporated in Zug, Switzerland. It deals with the marketing and promotion of the blockchain protocol. Ryan Jesperson is the president of Tezos coming with C-level executive experience of DivvyPay holding an MBA from Duke University. Their global head of Business Development Hubertus Thonhauisier is a partner of Enabling Future, social impact tech VC firm. Roman Schnider is managing the Finances of the organisation as well as its operations. A qualified accountant with more than a decade of experience with PwC. The best one for last, Arthur Breitman developed the protocol with his wife Kathleen. Arthur is an ex-Morgan Stanley well as a graduate from École Polytechnique who’s had a keen interested in the decentralized space. One of the main investors behind the project is Polychain Capital with notable advisors Emin Gün Sirer and Zooko Wilcox of Zcash. Tim Draper is one of the earliest supporters of the project participating in its initial ICO.

Development

The XTZ project is programmed in OCaml with the main repo on GitLab with more than 4400 commits and 6 releases. git repository contains the source code, the tests, and the developer documentation of the Tezos software running on the nodes of the main Tezos network. OCaml, a powerful functional programming language offering speed, an unambiguous syntax and semantic. The source code of Tezos is placed under the MIT Open Source License. Despite being quite costly the code has undergone professional audit.

Management show a rich history of banking experience and understanding of complex financial systems. This gives a solid foundation for building relationships and possible use cases within the industry. One such use cases that is potentially going to play a big part is the digitization of real assets on the protocol. In other words, tokenisation of assets such as property and fine art can open the doors to massive adoption and dapps building on the protocol. The broader team also have sufficient technical knowledge to be able to improve the platform as its usability rises.

SWOT

Strengths

  • Solving crippling governance issues that have previously plagued both Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • The self-amending feature of Tezos allows for any disagreement to be settled through the on-chain governance.
  • Tezos foundation has sufficient resources to grow the protocol. Moreover grants for developers looking to built on it are available.

Weaknesses

  • Transaction throughput is not particularly high currently. This is an area that would require attention to achieve better competitiveness.

Opportunities

  • Tokenisation of real estate is starting to take place on the protocol putting it at the forefront among competitors in this area.
  • Secure institutional custodial solutions in combination with the protocol’s staking ability offer a great way to adoption.

Threats

  • Pending class action US$25 million lawsuit with significant legal headwinds ahead.

Conclusion

The project shows a significant strengths backed by a solid team with great future prospects. Tezos will never have a hard fork in addition to a significant war chest to expand the developer community and adoption of the protocol. The upgraded proof of stake consensus mechanism in combination with the on-chain governance gives an edge to the protocol against some of it’s main competitors. The protocol combines different technologies from different
cryptocurrencies to generate a more flexible process of governance and transaction management. This gives it an edge and potential upside on its price action.

References:

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer. The content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Privacy and how to protect it?

Privacy is one of our basic freedoms that has been infringed more and more recently. Moreover, many have simply given it away freely in order to receive certain types of services from big corporates. In other cases people have been forcefully imposed laws and regulations that simply take it away by governments. Civil liberties are basic rights and freedoms granted to citizens of a country through national common or statute law. Through the centuries people around the world have fought to arrive at where we are now with the international laws and legislation protecting our freedoms. They include freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of religious worship. The freedoms to speak and believe in whatever you like while having the ability to keep this private, if you so wish, is a right that everybody has. The Magna Carta for example, drawn up in 1215, is usually cited as the first piece of legislation to guarantee certain liberties and rights in a world of medieval believes and daily life directed by religion. The Bill of Rights 1689 -“An Act declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject” limited the power of a single individual to benefit the masses with freedom of speech and free election. Reeling forward to the 21st century, United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights builds on top of the legislation for which people have fought over throughout the centuries. Article 12 protects your right to respect your private life, your family life, your home. You have the right to live your life privately without government interference. Article 19 states that everybody has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. In other words, a freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without a fear of retaliation, censorship or legal sanction. The term “freedom of expression” is sometimes used synonymously but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used”. In the US, the Constitution’s “first amendment” guarantees US citizens the freedom to say what they want that being the ultimate seal to allowing their freedom to express themselves.

In recent times, governments and big corporate institutions seem to have started to infringe those simple liberties which have taken 100s of years to achieve and put down with ink on paper. For example, the Chinese government has a social points based system where every citizen is monitored, CCTV operates on the streets of every corner in the big cities while websites are being watched and certain websites completely prohibited. In the Middle East, journalists and human rights defenders from Bahrain to Morocco have their phones tapped and their emails read by security services while others simply vanish from the face of the Earth. Edward Snowden exposed the mass surveillance of foreign phone and internet users by the US government. The social networks we use everyday like Facebook censors and removes posts that are out of favor with particular governments or national agencies while google provides data including IP addresses, location data and records of communications to law enforcement agencies without legal permission to do so. In almost every country around the world either one of the above is happening to one extend or another. Both companies and governments publicly omit facts or state different national security reasons as a pretext on obtaining personal information about individuals. It is clear that this widespread surveillance is not just about gathering information on the citizenry. It’s also about suppressing our ideas and our thoughts, controlling our actions and our words.

It is clear that there is significant amount of legislation and rights that goes with each individual while on the other hand there is as much as infringement on those by different actors in countries around the world. This article is not meant to only highlight present issues, but also offer some solutions for people who want to protect their rights through the use of new technologies. In the last decades, there has been unprecedented developments of the encryption and cryptographic technologies fostered by the exponential increase of processing power and operational capacity of computers. Moreover, researchers have worked on developing new and more secure encryption methods while the whole blockchain industry was born about 10 years ago. On one hand, cryptocurrencies can provide the medium of value exchange between individuals unhindered by the rules and regulation of the current monetary systems while the blockchain technology and many of it’s use cases can offer secure and verified transfer of data and information. Bitcoin is the original first cryptocurrency that paves the way for many more to come down the road. It really captures the idea of pseudo-anonymous private value transfer and transactions between people in any side of the world that has internet. Other cryptocurrencies have come since and keep being created for different reasons and use cases. On the privacy side, Monero, Zcash, PIVX, GRIN & BEAM offer solutions with a nuanced differences in their design, working structure, governance, blockchain infrastructure, but ultimately meant to offer their users a secure and private transfer of value. Transacting currencies is only one aspect of the privacy and security universe. Protecting your internet access connection, email, browsing and messaging as well as the information downloaded and accessed from different points all adds to the puzzle. A great hub for privacy technology is Privacy Tools. There you can get access on everything from guides, operating systems, recommended VPNs, messaging and emailing apps. For example, using a VPN connection is a must as this is the first point of contact to yourself and the internet. Service like the one offered by Proton with it’s corresponding encrypted email services is a great starting point. Nowadays, there is even blockchain based VPN service called Orchid where you can pay with tokens protecting your identity and credit card details. In terms of messaging, there are many options out there which have a small bias or influence by different corporates or governmental institutions, but Signal maybe the most independent encrypted messaging service that is in the mainstream out there. Finally, browsing the internet is what can really get you in trouble or infringe on your privacy that’s why one should always be mindful on the software and search engine used as you never know what may happen with your browsing history and data in 10 years down the line. Firefox and Brave offer secure, fast and private browsing while Tor can get you access to the dark web. Using google products is a sticky topic as you never really know how this data is being saved, secured or who’s got insight on it. That’s why instead of googling you may wish to use a privacy search engine like duckduckgo. Privacy is the fundamental barrier that stands in the way of complete state control and domination. Without it, the social contract is broken, and individuals cannot recognize their democratic rights to participate, build, grow and think.

Blockchain for good: supply-chains and sustainability

Michael was on his way to his weekly shopping on a hazy Sunday afternoon in September. He was in his 30s, wearing a typical attire of a shirt, jeans and a pair of shoes made out of faux leather. This was his usual weekend shop. For his lunches in the office that he was working in he would get meals from the Greek place nearby. Michael tend to skip dinner. Instead he would go on an app for intermittent fasting log in his hours and put 1 dollar towards a carbon credits offsetting fund build on the blockchain. While eating his lunch, he would flick through the supermarket app where he bought his food and browse the source of each ingredient encoded on the blockchain. This was an interesting one, as he could go back as far as learning the name and story of the farmer who picked his avocados and bananas. A story that he supported by buying the sustainable sourced produce with the ability to track it with blockchain technology.

The global population is growing exponentially requiring an increased use of energy and food. Our current sources of those resources are strained and reaching the point of inability to cope with the demand. On another side, this increased demand affects the quality of the supply as producer try to keep up on the quantity demanded. Higher quantities with reduced quality of food for the growing population creates additional maladies and if there isn’t a system and rules in places to protect the quality and understand the source of our food supply, everybody will be affected. This doesn’t have to go down like this, as there is already technology with the ability to track and help improve the quality of food. We can trace the supply-chains of each banana, avocado, or meat from the farm. There is an opportunity to massively improve life quality by improving, tracking and proving the sustainable supply of food and bio-energy enhancing the global food chain. Accessing healthy and nutritious food that has been produced in an eco-efficient manner preserving the biodiversity of the area where it was produced shouldn’t be a privilege of the rich and the developed world rather just a simple basic right for everybody. The Blockchain technology can assist us in creating transparent and verifiable supply chains that can be traced from the source and their impact on the environment clearly visible and measurable. Value chains that are integrated from farm to consumer, more traceable, measurable, verifiable would help monitor intermediaries and apply the standards, rules and regulation to preserve the quality of our food supplies.

Around 15% of global GHGs are related to agricultural production. That number is higher when you consider forestry and land use. As climate change affects rainfall and temperature, the location and nature of crop systems are likely to change. Eliminating deforestation from our agricultural supply chains worldwide is crucial for preserving not only the food on your plate each day, but the environment as a whole. Risk for global supply chains are affected by a number of internal and external factors such as margin erosion and sudden demand change, lack of visibility, ineffective risk management, ripple effect and obsolescence of technology. The food chain worldwide is highly multi-actor based and distributed, with numerous different actors involved, such as farmers, shipping companies, wholesalers and retailers, distributors, and groceries. Exchange of goods within those supply chains between buyers and sellers is done using complex and manual settlement processes that lack transparency and carry loads of risks. Many intermediaries involved in this process add additional costs and make the transactions prone to fraud. Moreover, there is a lack of knowledge on the origin of products and their environmental production footprint. We can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced from our food production by:
• protecting peat land and other carbon-capturing ecosystems
• conserving freshwater and acting responsibly in water-stressed regions
• conserving biodiversity
• supporting livelihoods
• respecting labor and land use rights
• applying free, prior and informed consent

On the other hand, ensuring the quality of our produce can be verified sustainable through tracking and application of international food standards clearly visible on each packaging. Knowing the origin and what products are really made of provides reassurance. For example, some of the most popular products used in the food production of many everyday staples can be seen below, certified by Bunge – one of the biggest food conglomerates and one with the ability to track the food through most stages of the supply chain.

On the technology front, companies are already implementing the blockchain to trace the source and provenance of food and energy. Certifying the sustainability of the sources and helping farmers and producers of those resources get adequately paid for their work rather than getting ripped of by the middle man and multiple intermediaries bringing little value to both the consumer and producer. Moreover, there has been an increased desire among consumers of agricultural products to better understand where their food products come from. Bext360 has developed a device that combines machine learning and artificial intelligence with blockchain to create a more efficient and transparent coffee supply chain, ensuring that farmers are paid fairly and immediately, while simultaneously helping consumers better understand where and how their coffee was produced. Agridigital is working on the commodities market for grain offering a platform that allows tracking from farmer to consumer. The Grasroots Coop is also experimenting with blockchain tracking organic produce made by small farms where quality always goes above quantity. Finally, provenance is literary attempting to tell the story of each product by tracking and verifying its source allowing businesses to increase their sales and strengthen brand value. The potential benefit of increasing consumer awareness and empowerment, considering that the consumer is the market driving force. Consumer increased awareness would put pressure for more transparent, sustainable, safe and fair practices in food production. The blockchain technology doesn’t only offer fast transaction settlement and lower costs, but it is also transparent, auditable and reliable. A perfect solution to tackle the many challenges faced by the supply-chain industry that has massive environmental impact.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and not the views of my employer. The content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

Will Bitcoin Ever Be Regulated?

This article is originally published in Albaron Ventures.

As Bitcoin and other digital assets continue to grow in adoption and popularity, a common topic for discussion is whether the U.S. government, or any government for that matter, can exert control of its use. 

There are two core issues that lay the foundation of the Bitcoin regulation debate:

The digital assets pose a macro-economic risk. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can act as surrogates for an international currency, which throws global economics a curveball. For example, countries such as Russia, China, Venezuela, and Iran have all explored using digital currency to circumvent United States sanctions, which puts the US government at risk of losing its global authority. 

Image: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/bitcoin-btc-cryptocurrency-1813503/

International politics and economics are a very delicate issue, and often sanctions are used in place of military boots on the ground, arguably making the world a safer place. 

The micro risks enabled by cryptocurrency weigh heavily in aggregate. One of the most attractive features of Bitcoin and other digital assets is that one can send anywhere between a few pennies-worth to billions of dollars of Bitcoin anywhere in the world at any time for a negligible fee (currently around $0.04 to $0.20 depending on the urgency.) 

However, in the hands of malicious parties, this could be very dangerous. The illicit activities inherently supported by a global decentralized currency run the gamut: terrorist funding, selling and buying illegal drugs, ordering assassinations, dodging taxes, laundering money, and so on. 

Can Bitcoin Even Be Regulated?

Before diving deeper, it’s worth asking whether Bitcoin can be regulated in the first place. 

The cryptocurrency was built with the primary purpose of being decentralized and distributed– two very important qualities that could make or break Bitcoin’s regulation. 

By being decentralized, Bitcoin doesn’t have a single controlling entity. The control of Bitcoin is shared among several independent entities all over the world, making it nearly impossible for a single entity to wrangle full control over the network and manipulate it as they please. 

Image: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/bitcoin-business-money-4503758/

By being distributed, Bitcoin exists at many different locations at the same time. This makes it very difficult for a single regulatory power to enforce its will across borders. This means that a government or other third party can’t technically raid an office and shut anything down. 

That being said, there are several chokepoints that could severely hinder Bitcoin’s adoption and use.

  1. Targeting centralized entities: exchanges and wallets 

A logical first move is to regulate the fiat onramps (exchanges) , which the United States government has finally been getting around to. In cryptocurrency’s nascent years, cryptocurrency exchanges didn’t require much input or approval from regulatory authorities to run. However, the government started stepping in when cryptocurrency starting hitting the mainstream. 

The SEC, FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), and CFTChave all played a role in pushing Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies across all exchanges operating within U.S borders.  

Cryptocurrency exchanges have no options but to adhere to whatever the U.S. government wants. The vast majority of cryptocurrency users rely on some cryptocurrency exchange to utilize their cryptocurrency, so they will automatically bend to exchange-imposed regulation. 

Regulators might not be able to shut down the underlying technology that powers Bitcoin, but they can completely wreck the user experience for the great majority of cryptocurrency users, which serves as enough of an impediment to diminish the use of cryptocurrency for most. 

  1. Targeting users.

The government can also target individual cryptocurrency users. Contrary to popular opinion, Bitcoin (and even some privacy coins) aren’t anonymous. An argument can be made that Bitcoin is even easier to track than fiat because of its public, transparent ledger. 

Combined with every cryptocurrency exchange’s willingness to work with U.S. authorities, a federal task force could easily track money sent and received from certain addresses and pinpoint the actual individual with it. Companies such as Elliptic and Chainalysis have already created solid partnerships with law enforcement in many countries to track down illicit cryptocurrency uses and reveals the identities behind the transactions. 

Beyond that, we dive into the dark web and more professional illicit cryptocurrency usage. Although trickier, the government likely has enough cyber firepower to snipe out the majority of cryptocurrency-related cybercrime. In fact, coin mixers (cryptoMixer.io), coin swap services (ShapeShift) and P2P bitcoin transactions (localbitcoins.com) have been investigated for several years now and most of them have had to add KYC and adhere to strict AML laws. 

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it’s going to take a lot to enforce any sort of significant global regulation on Bitcoin, with the most important factor being a centralization and consensus of opinion. The majority of the U.S. regulatory alphabet agencies fall into the same camp of “protect the good guys, stop the bad guys”, but there isn’t really a single individual piece of guidance to follow. Currently, cryptocurrencies are regulated in the US by several institutions: CFTC, SEC, IRS, making it difficult to create overarching regulatory guidelines.  

In short, yes– Bitcoin can be regulated. In fact, its regulation has already started with the fiat onramps and adherence to strict KYC & AML laws. While in countries such as Ecuador, Bolivia, Egypt and Morocco Bitcoin ownership is illegal, in the US, it would take some bending of the moral fabric of the Constitution in order for cryptocurrency ownership rights to be infringed.

However, it cannot be shut down. There are still ways to buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin P2P, without a centralized exchange. It would take an enormous effort by any government to completely uproot something as decentralized as Bitcoin, but that future seems more dystopian than tangible.