However, what about other cryptocurrencies out there? How can one be sure the network they use will stick with its tenants and not start acting like a centralized system? How does one know their coins are safe from being forked and erased?
One good indicator of whether a cryptocurrency will stay the course of remaining decentralized or caving in to government's will would be "The Regime Test" - waiting for the currency to be actively used by at least a few people in some sanctioned regime, bring it to the attention of both the system developers and their government and see whether they take any steps to prevent such transactions from taking place on the protocol level, or stand by their network needing to be completely decentralized.
One could see it as "a Great Filter for the cryptocurrencies" - every sufficiently successful cryptocurrency will have to face it on the road of becoming an ubiquitous, global currency. Whether the system passes the filter and remains a decentralized network or caves in to governmental pressures forces the project to take a stand on either side of the debate - it's not an issue that can be swept under the rug for long.
This test is especially important for the Crypto 2.0 systems that allow you to deal in your local currency directly. One can never expect when a new currency would appear from either a sanctioned regime or an extremist group that is suddenly traded against the more established currencies. Whether the system is then forced to ban the issuance of such currencies or lets the gateways deal with that on a case-by-case basis with their users can be an interesting precedent. If say, someone would send a Gold Dinar from a terrorist organization that then gets swapped for USD and lands in someone's account, would that person be potentially investigated as dealing with the terrorists? What about the trader that set up an order that allowed this transfer of funds? Or more interestingly - what if the trade went like this: Gold Dinar -> native token -> USD? Clearly, the native token - USD trader did not have bad intentions when enabling that trade, but the transaction couldn't have happened without them. It might be possible that suddenly the decentralized network would start requiring KYC on the blockchain for performing any sort of trade. Suddenly, the extra KYC Ripple Labs had to go through for their wallet start to pale in comparison.
All in all, the Regime Test is another gantlet for cryptocurrencies to separate the fragile ones destined to fade away from the antifragile ones that have a potential of standing to the challenge. It would be interesting to see some exchanges in places like Iran and Syria to challenge the status quo and show that in today's decentralized world, the money is like the Internet - it cannot be stopped and it flows around barriers. Similarly, it would be great to see a few cryptocurrency networks like Ripple challenged to take a stance on this issue.
PS: Stop the Bitlicense
Restrictive regimes - Iran, Syria, North Korea and New York ;).