Shark Tank's Mr. Wonderful is one of cryptocurrency's better-known supporters. But he isn't blind to the issues the industry faces. And while he is a big believer in blockchain and crypto, it's also fair to say he's not that enamored with large parts of the community. In fact, he thinks die-hard crypto fans are stopping digital currencies from moving to the next level and beyond.
In fairness, the feeling's mutual -- O'Leary has come under fire from those same fans for his views, particularly on regulation. Let's find out more about one of the big divisions in crypto and what it might mean for the industry as a whole.
In a recent crypto conference, O'Leary sat down with Circle co-founder and CEO, Jeremy Allaire. Circle is the company behind the USDC stablecoin. Speaking at Converge22, the pair discussed crypto fatigue, how to increase adoption, and the role of increased regulation.
It's too complicated
Allaire put it a different way: "For the next 500 million people to a billion people to get involved in this, the crypto of it has to go into the background." Taking the crypto out of crypto means making it more like sending an email. When you send an email, you don't need to know what's happening behind the scenes -- what matters is that your message gets sent. The Circle co-founder thinks the same thing needs to happen with crypto. "I think this is a critical piece of the next wave of adoption," he said.
Rogue crypto fans
O'Leary had some harsh words for certain quarters of the crypto community, labeling them as "rabid" and "rogue." He believes they are holding the industry back. His concern is that old-school crypto enthusiasts don't want regulation and see decentralization as the only way.
"There's a really tight, small crypto community of really rabid fans if you want to call them that," he said. "That's -- in my view really -- starting to hurt this space because a lot of them don't believe in regulation, a lot of them believe in decentralized only, a lot of them are rogue in terms of the way they think."