“Backdoor Bitcoin Ban?” Infrastructure Bill Creator Rob Portman Unveils Competing Amendment at the Last Moment

Senator Rob Portman’s amendment, which supports PoW chains but punishes those using PoS protocol, for now, has gained support from Mark Warner, Kyrsten Sinema, and most importantly, the White House. Crypto experts are skeptical and urging the community to call their senators and support the Wyden-Lummis-Toomey amendment.

On Wednesday, as we reported, Cynthia Lummis (R- Wyo), Ron Wyden (D-Ore), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa) filed their amendments to the crypto tax provision, which has also gained the support of Colorado Governor Jared Polis.

Late on Thursday, then, Senator Rob Portman, who is behind the bipartisan infrastructure bill and its overreaching crypto policies, tweeted out his support for the Wyden-Lummis-Toomey amendment saying, “we can do more to clarify the intent of the cryptocurrency provision & the Senate should vote on their amendment,” which had the crypto community excited and increasingly hopeful of getting this done.

But in a quick turn of events, at the last minute, Portman proposed his own “whack competing” amendment with support from Mark Warner, D-Va and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz, which support PoW chains but punishes those using PoS protocol.

“It is a disastrous. It only excludes proof-of-work mining. And it does nothing for software devs. Ridiculous!” said Jerry Brito, executive director of CoinCenter.

Blockchain Association executive director Kristin Smith warns that Portman and Warners’ amendment is anti-technology and anti-innovation that “would be disastrous for the U.S. crypto ecosystem.”

“If there is a worse way to make policy, someone is always ready to pounce. Hopefully it is simple ignorance rather than a malicious attack on a burgeoning FinTech industry. What a train wreck!” commented Congressman Warren Davidson, who is a crypto supporter.

Portman’s amendment even gained the support of the White House.

“The Administration believes this provision will strengthen tax compliance in this emerging area of finance and ensure that high income taxpayers are contributing what they owe under the law… we believe that the alternative amendment put forward by Senators Warner, Portman, and Sinema strikes the right balance and makes an important step forward in promoting tax compliance,” reads the statement attributed to Andrew Bates, White House Deputy Press Secretary.

This obviously took the crypto community by shock. They were quick to point out that this is absolutely wrong to do at the last moment and is an attempt to do what the original bill was planning all along, ban the crypto industry.

“Make no mistake, this is a backdoor Bitcoin ban. Compliance is impossible. Their intent is to criminalize full nodes, lightning nodes, and most Bitcoin wallets. And they are not really in favor of proof-of-work; the very next bill will include some ESG thing to attack that too,” tweeted Balaji Srinivasan, former Coinabse CTO, and General Partner at a16z.

The Senate plans to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill on Saturday.

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