On May 9th, 2019 yet another storm has swept over cryptocurrencies, this time in the United States congress. Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman from California’s 30th district in the LA area called for banning Bitcoin and cryptocurrency purchases for U.S. citizens. Youtubers, Twitter and Reddit communities have responded with a flood of emotions and discussion.
First, let’s break down what Mr. Sherman has accused and what he’s ultimately proposing.
Brad Sherman built his anti-cryptocurrency argument around how international power is based on the US dollar. He states that crypto undermines currencies like the Petro in value as a standard for business transactions and other forms of exchange. Mr. Sherman believes crypto will take power away from the U.S., tax collection, and law enforcement.
Crypto Youtuber and Elastos enthusiast Crypto Lark recently posted a video regarding this topic here. He breaks down each argument Brad Sherman presented in Congress.
Lark explains how the Petro is backed and propped up by inflation and debt and Bitcoin is freedom. He goes onto the issue that countries with sanctions from the United States can skate past enforcement using Bitcoin and crypto. This has riled government officials and stirred up policy makers to protect their power and regulatory prowess. Lark talks about how the banning of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies would be a huge setback for the overall market. Crypto exchanges, initiatives like Bakkt and other large scale institutions would disappear and affect the health of the industry. Lark highly recommends that people reach out to their nearest Congress person and complain about Mr. Sherman’s stance on Crypto.
A few Twitter responses have stood out:
Coin Center, a place that protects open blockchain networks and innovator rights, posted the video of Brad Sherman speaking in Congress about banning Crypto here.
-“Today Congress Rep. Sherman called for a bill to ban all cryptocurrencies. This is why Coin Center is needed in DC more than ever.”
This tweet received 1,000+ retweets w/ many responses.
Medio Demarco, Co-Founder of Delphi Digital, an independent research boutique for digital assets, posted a tweet encouraging all community members to reach out to Congress as well.
“For everyone who wants to call Congressman Sherman’s office and leave a complaint the phone number is (202)-225-5911 #DecentraliedGovernance”
One of the more popular crypto subreddits, r/cryptocurrency, exploded on this topic. Here are a few quotes:
“I haven’t looked into it at all but I’d bet anything that he’s getting paid/lobbied by banks”
CR Press looked into this and according to Opensecrets.org in 2017-2018, Royal Business Bank was the top contributor for Brad Steven’s campaign.
“Apparently, one of the lead donators for his campaign fundraising is a credit card processing company.”
This may be referring to the Credit Union National Assn, which has contributed just north of $115,000 between 1995-2018. (Opensecrets.org)
“It’s astounding how keen some politicians in the States are to ignore what America is, what its founding principles were and why. Money was specifically NOT meant to be the preserve of central banks but was designed to serve the people and their government; that was one of the main reasons for the war of independence wasn’t it? This man is either dangerously ignorant or dangerously compromised.”
This is a very profound comment about the hypocrisy of fiat currency and how it’s supposed to serve the people and not control the people.
Other arguments abound, such as how the US dollar is used far more frequently for illicit activities and how this is exactly the reason why crypto exists, and other statements even border on a dare—that Congress could try but unless they shut down the entire internet, it’s impossible to ban Bitcoin and such an act would only increase Bitcoin’s relevance and power; and action like this is in fact the very proof to why crypto is needed.
This is certainly not the first time countries and governments have made such declarations against digital currencies. China has been in the news several times over the years on its wavy stance on Bitcoin and crypto. They have banned Bitcoin a few times but it’s still being transacted and traded domestically and in other countries.
Could Brad Sherman and the U.S. Congress succeed in banning cryptocurrencies in the United States?
Everyone knew that it was going to be a bumpy road, dealing with governments and regulations and other roadblocks, but perhaps the mere acknowledgement of crypto as a threat to centralized systems will actually raise the question to the mainstream mind. As for the rest of us? Let’s face the “people in charge” and let them know our stance.