Dr. Steven Waterhouse, a founding partner of Pantera Capital and the CEO of Orchid (OXT), believes that the U.S. government will not let a private enterprise challenge the dollar.

In an interview recorded prior to Telegram announcing it had given up on its blockchain project, Dr. Waterhouse said the U.S. government perceives cryptocurrencies issued by companies with hundreds of millions of users as a real threat to the dollar:

“The idea that some random startups are going to build their own stablecoins, perhaps with hundreds of millions of installs of a messenger client, whether it's Facebook or Telegram or someone else, potentially challenge the sort of central bank digital currency or existing central bank currencies? [...] That's got to be triggering for regulators. So I think that's why we've seen such a strong reaction to both Facebook Libra and also Telegram.”

Many governments around the world have taken a two-pronged approach — thwarting the issuance of stablecoins that could rival fiat while also exploring the issuance of their own digital currencies.

Durov’s statement is unique

But Dr. Waterhouse also reacted with dismay to the recent comments by Telegram founder Pavel Durov in which he called the U.S. a “police state” and discouraged entrepreneurs from Eastern Europe from basing their tech businesses in Silicon Valley. He said that this was the first time in 20 years he’d heard someone voice this opinion:

“The only time in 20 odd years of living in San Francisco and being based and having a strong network in Silicon Valley. That's [the first time] that anyone's ever said to me that this is not the best place to start a company or build a company.”