J.W. Verret is a Harvard-educated attorney who teaches corporate finance and accounting at George Mason University. He is known as the “BlockProf” or the Blockchain Professor on Twitter. He is also the top honcho at Crypto Freedom Lab, a think tank dedicated to preserving freedom and privacy for crypto developers and users. Verret is a vocal advocate for cryptocurrency and serves as a professional legal witness for defendants accused of evading financial-tracking laws. He is authoring a book on blockchain privacy and forensics and writes as a regular columnist for Cointelegraph.
**1) You’re very busy professionally — teaching at George Mason University, serving on committees with the Securities and Exchange Commission, going to trials as an expert witness. How did life lead you to cryptocurrency?**
Verret spent 15 years as a libertarian regulation/financial person in Washington, D.C. He became interested in cryptocurrency because it is a freedom revolution in finance. While government regulation aims to fix problems in finance, crypto fixes them by eliminating the need for intermediaries.
**2) You served on the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee, but you’ve also been very vocal in criticizing SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. How was that experience?**
Verret replaced Hester Peirce on the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee and wrote a lot of dissents as a committee member. He believes that Chairman Gensler has been trying to destroy the crypto industry by suing reputable actors like Coinbase and Kraken while ignoring worse actors. Verret does not believe he will be invited back to the committee under Gensler’s leadership.
**3) You’re a vocal proponent of ZCash. Explain your interest there.**
ZCash is a private cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin. Verret believes ZCash is a great invention and the developers deserve a Nobel Prize. He sees the need for privacy in day-to-day payments, which is lacking in Bitcoin. Verret is also a fan of Monero, another privacy-focused cryptocurrency.
**4) On that note, how do you think the future of crypto is going to be defined?**
Verret believes the future of crypto will be a combination of achieving greater privacy in transactions, being more efficient than traditional finance instruments, and dealing with criminal activities. Governments and big corporations will fight against trustless, disintermediated property transfers, making privacy coins and protocols essential for protection.
**5) You’re also serving as a professional witness in U.S. v. Sterlingov, where the U.S. government is charging Roman Sterlingov with developing Bitcoin Fog, a crypto mixer. Tell me about that.**
Verret works as a forensic accountant and is interested in privacy. He believes there is no conflict in being both privacy-oriented and following the money. In U.S. v. Sterlingov, he is providing expert help in forensic accounting and money laundering. Verret also helps customers of large crypto exchanges when their crypto is frozen due to false flags from crypto tracing tools.
**6) I hear you have opinions about UFOs. Can you tell us what you know?**
Verret is interested in the history of investigations into UFOs and recommends podcasts and books on the subject. He thinks that UFOs exist and are probably unmanned probes that want to observe human activities, rather than being involved in any apocalyptic or conspiratorial activities.
– Read about Verret’s background and his involvement in the crypto industry.
– Verret’s criticism of SEC Chairman Gary Gensler and his views on the future of crypto.
– Verret’s advocacy for privacy coins like ZCash and Monero.
– His role as a professional witness in U.S. v. Sterlingov and his concerns about false positives in crypto tracing.
– Verret’s personal interest in UFO investigations.
By Rudy Takala, opinion editor at Cointelegraph.