Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a potential 2020 presidential contender, recently threw shade at cryptocurrency in a Senate hearing, but she wasn’t alone.
One of the ironies of modern life is that people elect politicians who are good at speaking glibly and looking presentable on TV. However, said politicians are often bewildered and flummoxed by new technology, and yet we live in an era of technological innovations being introduced every few years. At a recent U.S. Senate hearing, a number of politicians, notably Elizabeth Warren, threw some shade at cryptocurrency.
Senate + Cryptocurrency = FUD
A number of senators attending a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing had something to say about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, and it wasn’t favorable. First in the firing line was Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who said ICOs were being used to scam small investors and that cryptocurrency was easy to steal.
This is somewhat rich in that she’s calling cryptocurrency a scam. Critics have long maintained that Elizabeth Warren is lying about her purported Native American heritage. They believe she used her supposed heritage as a scam to gain an advantage in the job market, although no documentation exists to bolster her claim. Warren has refused to take any DNA test to prove her assertation.
Warren was joined in her FUD by several other senators. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) did say that he wished blockchain and cryptocurrency would allow unbanked individuals to enjoy financial services, but he said that real-world applications have been few and that there are a lot of scams. He envisioned families losing their life savings by being scammed by a fraudulent ICO.
Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) expressed concern over the volatility of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and pump-and-dump schemes. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) trotted out the old favorite of cryptocurrency being used by criminals. Jones said that criminals are always two to three steps ahead of law enforcement when it comes to cryptocurrency.
In Defense of Crypto
CoinCenter Research Chief Peter Van Valkenburgh attended the committee hearing and defended cryptocurrency. He stressed that the government should use a light touch in regulating the virtual currency industry just like it did with the internet.
Peter Van Valkenburgh also pointed out that it would be best if the federal government took the lead in regulating cryptocurrency as opposed to letting each state decide a course of action, saying:
Federal pre-emption of state cryptocurrency regulation would be a wide choice that would make America a world leader and protect consumers.
Finally, he also stressed that law enforcement is not clueless when it comes to Bitcoin and criminal enterprise. He pointed out the fact that there is a trail that can be easily followed, which usually results in law enforcement being able to track down wrongdoers.
It seems that many Senators are still not willing to fully jump onto the cryptocurrency train. This is somewhat disheartening after the recent roundtable held in Washington by Representative Warren Davidson (R-OH). Of course, it’s not like centralized financial institutions have donated heavily to politicians over the years to ensure the status quo. It looks like the Blockchain Association has a lot of work in front of them in trying to lobby Washington for better, non-intrusive regulations.
Are you surprised by the FUD offered by the senators? Let us know in the comments below.
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