California-based Congressman Brad Sherman has stated that the government should ban US citizens from the mining and usage of cryptocurrencies, in a hearing of the subcommittee for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, 19 July. He believes that as a mode of currency, these digital coins help accomplish absolutely nothing, but clear the way for terrorism,
trafficking narcotics, and tax evasion.
“Some of its supporters delight in that if you can disempower the U.S. government from being able to prevent terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and tax evasion, you have somehow struck a blow for liberty,” Sherman explained during his statement. “That is reason enough to ban it.”
He argues that the process of mining involves the use of a huge quantity of power, that somehow takes it away from places where power might be more required, or even adds to the current power footprint.
He doesn’t support it as an “investment” either, saying that gambling in Vegas, which would feed casinos and restaurants that pay a lot of taxes, has now been replaced by gambling on virtual currencies, which enables terrorists and tax evaders gain a foothold.
He maintains that such people should make investments into risky stocks instead. This is considering the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s March suggestion of increased investor protection if US
citizens do start purchasing altcoins. Sherman also added that he would like to see a fraud charge, and consequent incarceration for anyone making crypto-transactions by way of stocks, bonds, or anything
Norbert Michel, director at the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation and one of the panelists at the hearing, however, argues against this idea of banning digital currencies. He argues that while it is true that criminals do indeed use Bitcoins, it is also true that they use other more everyday tools like cars and planes and computers, which, following the same logic, should be banned as well. Yet they can’t, and cryptocurrencies should not be treated any differently.
Cash is still the predominant currency across North America, but US citizens also have the option of electronic payments. This means that money gets deposited directly into a man’s bank account without him
having seen it, and then he can use the same money to make purchases using his bank card, while again not using the physical money. Being so similar, cryptocurrency should be embraced and used as any other