GAMESTOP “CHAOS” LEADS TO CALLS FOR “DIGITAL ID”


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Orwellian language is buttressing calls for a Digital ID system that would go further in tracking users and how they’re spending their money in the stock market and elsewhere.
“The regulator’s job is to create safe environments and to ensure that there are satisfactory controls in place such that individuals can participate of their own free will, but only when it’s appropriate,” Trulioo CEO Zac Cohen said in a recent interview. “It’s a tough job because it’s not easy to determine the rules of the game for the most part.”
The game of mega hedge funds shorting targeted companies for profit with proxies on media talking down the companies was exposed by the GameStop saga. The back-door connection between Citadel Securities, one of Wall Street’s largest handlers of daily stock trades, and Robinhood, the most popular “no fee” trading app, also eluded Cohen’s concern.
But Cohen, whose company builds digital identity networks for businesses, focused on what he saw was the need to better regulate and verify retail investors. He contended that many of the Reddit traders who drove up prices for GME and other stocks might not have been eligible to trade due to lack of money to back their activity or being below the age of 18. He said tracking via a Digital ID system is needed because verifying isn’t an issue in the physical world, where “eyeball checks are possible.” Cohen said,
“That means we have to go a little bit further in the spectrum to not only confirm that this is a real person on the other side, but that it is the right person holding that information… And so it’s really a two-stage process that can be done very smoothly but has to be thought about strategically by these ecosystems and these market participants.”
Cohen cast his call for a Digital ID as protection for average traders, not a new surveillance tool for rattled financial and government interests. He said zero-cost trading apps have dangerously opened the door to uninformed masses who don’t have “democratized access” to needed tools to make sound investment decisions.
Truliloo has worked with crypto platforms to “increase trust and safety online,” according to Cohen. “At the end of the day, we’re not trying to stop participation. We’re trying to model activity and protect the ecosystem.”
Of course, eyeball checks in the physical world tell nothing about how much money is in someone’s wallet or bank account, or how savvy they are with their investment decisions. But it’s obvious that the financial world, including money printing central banks and governments that authorize them, have been rattled not only by youth insurgencies on Wall Street but also by the rapid mass adoption of digital currencies. The “volatility” introduced by bitcoin, the king of cryptos, and the move to de-centralized and even dark transactions that can’t be easily monitored or controlled is a source of increasing focus.
Some states, including New York bar participation on crypto platforms like Binance, which offers trading of privacy-focused digital currencies like Monero (XMR). But even as end-users seek less tracking of their digital life, corporations and governments have a vested financial interest in knowing, controlling, and profiting in one way or another from those individual activities.

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