Crypto is complicated for everyone, even those in Congress. For a newbie, all the different coins, ICOs, tokens, scams, DApps, and scams can be confusing. If you are a casual observer, it is almost impossible to wrap your head around crypto.
Congress Weighs in on Crypto
With the confusion around crypto, Congress held about three combined hours of discussions on the subject. It all began on Wednesday when the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing to talk about the future of crypto.
During the hearing, Rep. Brad Sherman of California suggested that the US should prohibit Americans from mining or purchasing crypto. According to the committee chairman, the hearing was going to shed light on digital assets and the regulatory challenges. However, he did add that the committee was interested in promoting a strong market for commodities, including those emerging with digital technology.
Later on, the House Financial Services committee met to examine crypto. They wanted to find out to what extent the US should consider crypto as money and the potential uses of crypto. Most notable about the hearing was the suggestion by Rep. Brad Sherman of California to ban crypto. He said that mining was using up electricity, which was contributing to a growing carbon footprint.
The Congressman from California suggested that crypto achieved nothing more except making it possible to traffic narcotics, for tax evasion and for terrorism. However, not all agreed with Sherman. Conway, during his closing statements, seemed to be in favor of Bitcoin.
Conway said that for Bitcoin, this was a great win for law enforcement as opposed to other coins such as Zcash and Monero, which were hard to trace. He was referring to the pseudonymous nature of Bitcoin, which made it easy to track.
Some more Interesting Views from Congress
Congressman Rick Allen said that crypto was creating a new type of money supply. He said that crypto was essentially challenging the position of the dollar as the dominant currency of the world. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota also had some interesting views to share. He said that there was a lot he did not understand about crypto. However, he did share some interesting facts such as the fact that more than 80 percent of ICOs were scams.
In general, the two hearings by house committees paint a picture of elected officials trying to understand crypto. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing. It is unlikely the US Congress would move to ban crypto.
Right now, the US has very limited crypto regulation. In fact, most of the regulation is done on a state-by-state level. It is only in recent months that the SEC has begun to crack down on ICOs. Even then, the focus is mainly on large ICOs that raise huge amounts of funds.
When Congress does finally understand crypto, it could help to come up with the right regulation. As a result, most investors would be willing to invest their money in crypto, since they would feel legally protected when doing it.