Brad Sherman (D., Calif.), a known crypto naysayer, criticized bitcoin as having “no societal value.”
Speaking to CNBC, the congressman representing the 30e The District of California reiterated its view that bitcoin has little intrinsic value and is only useful as a means of tax evasion.
But he is optimistic that once know-your-customer and anti-money laundering rules kick in, cryptocurrency loses its merit as a vehicle for tax avoidance.
Bitcoin, he argues, can’t do much to build the US economy because it’s not backed by anything.
Brad Sherman: Opinions are in the minority on Capitol Hill
One of Sherman’s arguments against bitcoin is that it aspires to be a competing currency to the dollar. He says it comes from an anti-establishment culture designed to attack the “powers of society.” This feeling was Express during House Financial Services Committee hearing for crypto bosses in December 2021.
Sherman’s views are the exception rather than the rule among his colleagues on Capitol Hill, where politicians seek to establish a cohesive regulatory framework to oversee the industry. The California congressman wants to bring the sector under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission due to the size of the agency and the resemblance of crypto to securities.
On the other hand, the recent Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Bill called for certain cryptocurrencies to be removed from the jurisdiction of the SEC and placed under the jurisdiction of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission.
Like Sherman’s concern with investor protection, the Responsible Financial Innovation Bill aims to address the issue of investor protection while promoting financial innovation. However, Sherman did not indicate that he considers cryptocurrencies to be innovative.
In yet another blow to Sherman’s lobbying, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) recently introduced a bill to bring most cryptocurrencies under CFTC jurisdiction.
Crypto has too much behind it, Sherman concedes
The congressman put to bed any hopes he might have had that cryptocurrencies would be banned. Speaking to Los Angeles Time On September 4, 2022, Sherman lamented that the contributions of leading crypto industry advocates to politicians’ campaigns had snuffed out any chance of crypto being banned.
In May 2022, Be[In]Crypto reported that FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried funneled more than $30 million into political action super committees. These entities promote specific political candidates or lobby for their defeat. A group called Financial Freedom PAC sought to oust Sherman in favor of Aarika Rhodes, who believed in bitcoin’s ability to democratize finance. Rhodes lost the midterm primary in June 2022 and is now awaiting the November 2022 general election.
One of the founders of the Financial Freedom PAC said in May 2022 that the fight for bitcoin would be a marathon, not a sprint.
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