During a subcommittee for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, California Democrat Brad Sherman boldly declared his belief that all cryptocurrency mining and trades should be banned across the US.
Sherman’s arguably excessive comments went so far as to inaccurately determine the primary use of cryptocurrencies for tax evasion, and even for rogue states to avoid US sanctions, claiming the only way to deal with this must be banning all US citizens from dealing in cryptocurrencies.
His controversial position quickly sparked criticism from pundits who noted that Sherman’s largest political donor is the corporation Allied Wallet – a credit card processing firm. The traditional financial industry, particularly businesses that provide payment services, face a significant threat from the cryptocurrency industry as it moves capital out of their own accounts.
Reactions from the subcommittee
Norbert Michel became the voice of reason during the debate. The director of the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation called into question Sherman’s analysis of cryptocurrency as a tool of criminals. He pointed out that indeed, while some criminals may utilize Bitcoin in their crimes, they may well also use automobiles and airplanes, yet one couldn’t justify banning all of these instruments.
Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University, Dr Eswar Prasad, noted that the potential positive benefits of cryptocurrencies on the financial industry war outweigh their criminal component. He said that payment systems could be improved, making transactions easier and more cost-effective. While Prasad said he could not imagine the US dollar being replaced by Bitcoin, the Federal Reserve should in no way act as a barrier to stop people using ”their preferred medium of exchange“.
Although the meeting was prematurely concluded dues to a house vote, chairman Andy Barr finished the session by saying “[cryptocurrencies] will continue to have a greater and greater impact on our financial system”, determining the committee must again revisit the issue.
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