Cryptocurrency is a hot topic of debate in different sectors. Government officials are now weighing in on the future of Bitcoin. This week’s House Committee meetings resulted in a rather negative attitude toward the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.
House Committees Are Not Pro-Bitcoin
Legislators and politicians often take a negative stance toward Bitcoin. This is primarily due to misconceptions regarding cryptocurrency. Additionally, there is a fundamental lack of understanding of how this technology works. Especially when it comes to the use cases, Bitcoin is more than a “tool for criminals.”
This recent House Committee hearings clearly outlined the misconceptions yet again. The House Committee on Agriculture and the House Financial Services Committee meetings were originally intended to shed light on the promise of digital assets. Deciding upon regulatory guidelines is not an easy process. Making a well-weighed decision to deal with this new asset class requires an open mind. Some officials attending these meetings are not as open-minded as their colleagues.
Representative Brad Sherman drew a lot of heat from cryptocurrency enthusiasts. His claims of how “terrible” Bitcoin mining is and how Bitcoin is only for criminal activity do not sit well. Sherman said:
We should prohibit U.S. persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies. Mining alone uses electricity which takes away from other needs and-or adds to the carbon footprint. As a store, as a medium of exchange, cryptocurrency accomplishes nothing except facilitating narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and tax evasion.
These are the same remarks Sherman uttered several months ago in public. Claiming cryptocurrency “accomplishes nothing” is a very short-sighted view on the matter. Even so, it is a valid opinion as it shows more education on cryptocurrency is direly needed.
No Regulatory Decisions in Sight
There are always two camps during any U.S. House Committee meeting. Not everyone agrees with Brad Sherman, which is a small victory for the crypto industry. Some officials see merit in Bitcoin, as it is the “lesser of two evils.” Currencies focusing on privacy and anonymity are clearly not popular among US officials at this stage.
Meetings like these are not designed to facilitate regulatory decisions. The United States is no step closer to regulating Bitcoin than it was two weeks ago. A House Committee meeting lets people voice their opinion for the rest of the world to see and hear. Whether those opinions matter in the end is a different matter altogether. That decision is left in the hands of regulators and policymakers, whether they’re capable or not.
Cryptocurrency is a very difficult concept to grasp. Especially for people with no “feeling” for new technology, Bitcoin is a big mystery. Educational efforts regarding cryptocurrency are needed now more than ever. Starting at the top rather than at the bottom seems more than warranted at this point. Even so, these House Committee meetings show the door hasn’t closed on Bitcoin yet. That in itself is all one could hope for at this stage.
What do you think about U.S. elected officials being ignorant on cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments below.
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