Congressman Sherman calls for Ban on crypto-trading and crypto-mining in the US
In a major setback from the positive regulatory atmosphere for cryptos in the US, Congressmen are urging the government to ban the use of virtual currencies, since they are misused for funding criminal activities. However, cryptocurrency experts have opposed the call for just a ban since any tool can be used for criminal activities.
The call for the ban came from Congressman Brad Sherman, the Democratic Representative from California while hearing a Subcommittee on Financial Services Committee. He stated that, cryptocurrencies are not an accredit medium for exchange and that they easily encourage trafficking of narcotics, tax evasion as well as terrorism, and should, therefore, be banned. In his statement which lasted all of five minutes the Congressman, called for banning cryptocurrencies, as they encouraged money-laundering apart from their rampant use for illegal activities and crimes.
He averred that currently, supporters of these decentralized coins are happy to use these assets to “disempowering” agencies of authority like the US government by indulging in acts of funding terrorism with these coins. He also alleged that coins encouraged narcotic traffickers to hoodwink the traditional financial systems and engaged in their crimes without fear of detection.
Apart from the core reasons of misuse, he also identified non-sustainable methods used for mining of these coins as a de-motivator against cryptocurrencies.
In deriding the use and utility of these virtual coins, the Congressman pointed out that the method of investing in these coins was akin to gambling in Las Vegas. In fact, he reasoned that the gambling industry created jobs for people and even paid high taxes, but by indulging ‘animal spirits’ in virtual coin gambling, it would only create a market for tax evasion, terrorism, and similar illegal activities.
At the same time, he had a few words of advice for gamblers as well. He recommended that instead of gambling they could experience similar thrills by investing in stock which was high risk.
His final appeal, he believed that continued investment by the common US citizens in these cryptocurrencies would demand a bigger role by the government, if only for the explicit purpose of protecting such investors.
He highly recommended the process of initiating charges of fraud against any company or organization in the USA which dealt in financial instruments such as bonds, stocks or other investments, if it made crypto-offerings.
He concluded his diatribe thus, “The money that we make as a country because we’re the reserve currency, because we can issue a greenback that does not yield interest, there are people who are alive today because of the profits the U.S. government makes on that whether it be to fund our defence or medical research. All of that gets diminished with cryptocurrency.”
Criminals are nefarious
Opposing these calls for a ban of cryptocurrency was Norbert Michel, the Director of the Center for Data Analytics that criminals are prone to use any tool for nefarious activities, like computers, airplanes, and automobiles. However, nobody has called a ban on these, and hence ‘criminalization’ of cryptocurrency should not be recommendation he suggested.