Congressman Brad Sherman has already made to news by making controversial statements on the digital currency buying and mining – back in March he called cryptocurrencies “a crock”. During the Wednesday hearing of a subcommittee for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, he made the waves again by asking for ban on crypto currency trading and mining, keeping Americans out of the crypto market.
The California democrat suggest,
“We should prohibit U.S. persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies. Beyond cryptocurrencies being potentially used as a form of money in the future, it can currently be used by tax evaders and rogue states seeking to bypass U.S. sanctions.”
One of the panelists, Norbert Michel, director for the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, define cryptocurrencies as an opportunity and pushed back against the idea of criminals using crypto currency for money laundering.
He told the subcommittee:
“Yes it is true that criminals have used bitcoin, but it’s also true that criminals have used airplanes, computers and automobiles. We shouldn’t criminalize any of those instruments simply because criminals used them.”
“Those components I believe are the main barriers to widespread adoption in the U.S,” he added.
No place for Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) – Not yet
A number of central banks around the world, including Bank of China (despite cryptocurrency trading is banned in china) have been investigating the idea of blockchain; technology concepts behind Bitcoin and other crypto currency as part of new, wholly digital money system. Blockchain technology has ability to do much more than digital currency trading. It ensures transparency, security and efficiency.
Alex Pollock, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, blasted the concept during Wednesday’s hearing, declaring it “a terrible idea – one of the worst financial ideas of recent times.”
Other committee members couldn’t help but agree that the idea, at the very least, raised more fundamental questions about how blockchain and cryptocurrencies actually work.
Law maker Bill Foster asked about blockchain immutability, saying
“the promise of blockchain is a non-falsifiable ledger … [what] remains an unsolved problem in the digital world is how you authenticate yourself?”
Blockchain has immense bright future
On the contrary, some people argued that the existence of technology behind cryptocurrencies had the potential to impact and made huge positive impact on the secure financial service sector, particularly the payments system, in positive ways.
Some argue that blockchain can make transactions much easier and can bring down the cost but the benefits are limited so far and not fully utilized.
Michel himself noted:
“It is certainly difficult to imagine a cryptocurrency replacing the U.S. dollar as long as the Federal Reserve acts as a moderately good steward of the national currency, but it is for this very reason that Congress should eliminate barriers that impede people from using their preferred medium of exchange.”
In the end, hearing was cut short in order to make way for a House vote without any further discussions.
However, just prior to dispersing the attendees, chairman Andy Barr noted that cryptocurrencies will “continue to have a greater and greater impact on our financial system,” making it a topic the committee would likely have to “revisit” once again.