U.S. Congressman Bradley Sherman (D-CA) called on Congress to outlaw cryptocurrencies Thursday, just days after Nobel Prize Winning Economist Joseph Stiglitz called for the world to “shut down the cryptocurrencies”. Sherman, a noted Bitcoin critic, was speaking in front of the Financial Services Committee, where he rolled out the well-worn line that cryptocurrencies are only used by criminals and tax avoiders. This time however he added another arrow to his quiver, putting himself bang in the crosshairs of the crypto community as he did, by stating that cryptocurrencies pose a risk to the dollar, and therefore America’s power in the world.
Congressman Brad Sherman wants to outlaw cryptocurrencies.
He has been in office for 22 straight years. More than twice as long as Bitcoin has existed. Maybe we should outlaw lifelong politicians?!
Thankfully, Bitcoin will be around long after Mr. Sherman 🙂 pic.twitter.com/T5RSBltX3W
— Pomp ? (@APompliano) May 9, 2019
Sherman’s Comments Can’t Tank Bitcoin
Mr Sherman, who has held his seat since 1996, has railed against cryptocurrencies for a number of years, famously telling Congress in March 2018 that Bitcoin only allows “a few dozen men in my district to sit in their pajamas on their couch all day, and tell their wives they are going to be millionaires.” This time around, Sherman couldn’t resist trotting out the criminals and terrorists trope, citing the fact that Hamas has instructions on their website of how to donate in Bitcoin (a process that has netted them less than $8,000 so far, compared to the tens of millions of dollars they receive from states).
All that being said, it was his comments that cryptocurrencies threaten to undermine America’s global financial dominance that caught the most attention, comments that made him sound like a British general in the last days of the Raj:
…an awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions. The purposes of cryptocurrency, the advantage it has over sovereign currency, is solely to aid in the disempowerment of the United States and the rule of law.
The market brushed off the comments, with Bitcoin climbing another 3% in the 12 hours since the comments were made, while responses to Sherman’s comments reflected the growing trend that cryptocurrencies are cementing themselves in society and helping to level the financial playing field:
the video of @BradSherman‘s call to ban bitcoin is the best advertisement for the digital asset i’ve seen in quite some time (HT Oskar_Koch on Reddit) https://t.co/KeGCO0uXSh pic.twitter.com/VDF6XxBFre
— Kyle Torpey (@kyletorpey) May 9, 2019
Brad, thank you for all you’re doing to spur cryptocurrency mass adoption. #BTC
— Dwayne Lloyd Samuel (@dwaynesamuel) May 10, 2019
— OldPa (@OldPaSink) May 10, 2019
Support from Hester Pierce
In a timely reminder that there is support for cryptocurrencies within the authorities, Hester Pierce, the pro-crypto member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) told the Securities Enforcement Forum in Palo Alto, California that she did not want “heel-dragging” from the SEC to stifle crypto innovation:
The U.S. securities markets have historically been the envy of the world; I do not want heel-dragging by the SEC in crypto to mar that well-deserved reputation.
If she sees the SEC as behind the curve, one can only imagine what she thinks of Sherman and his ilk.