U.S. Cryptocurrency Regulation Plans Concern Congressmen

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  • Four U.S. congressmen have written to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin asking him to reconsider his plans for tough new U.S cryptocurrency regulation
  • The congressmen opine that such U.S. cryptocurrency regulation would erode personal privacy
  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong was vocal about the same issue two weeks ago, saying it could “kill” development in the space

Four members of the U.S. congress have written to Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin to express their concern over suggestions that he is planning to implement tough new restrictions on the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Warren Davidson, Tom Emmer, Ted Budd, and Scott Perry penned an open letter to Secretary Mnuchin, asking him to reconsider his plans to come down hard on the cryptocurrency ecosystem in order to curb illegal use, including monitoring private crypto-crypto transactions.

Plans Would “Hinder American Leadership” in Crypto Space

Senator Warren Davidson posted the letter on Twitter earlier this week, stating in the tweet he was “troubled” by Mnuchin’s “plans to enact burdensome regulations on digital self-hosted wallets” and asking him to “rethink these regs and consult with Congress” on a better way forward:

In the letter itself, the four congressmen explain that imposing the kind of sanctions Mnuchin is suggesting would mean that “Americans’ utilization of digital asset transactions would be placed at a significant disadvantage to our global competitors.” Worse, they say, it would “hinder American leadership and preclude meaningful participation in the technological innovation currently underway throughout the global financial system.”

U.S. Cryptocurrency Regulation Could Echo China

The letter adds that the ability for individuals to operate their own cryptocurrency wallets and store their own funds allows them to “maintain privacy and transact freely”, in “stark contrast” to China’s digital yuan where “citizens are surveilled and transactions involving disfavored individuals or activities can be censored”.

The letter points out the same argument made by others, that cash is used far more than cryptocurrencies for illicit activity, adding that cash transactions are literally anonymous while the bulk of cryptocurrency transactions are “pseudo-anonymous” and can be traced.

Coinbase’s Armstrong In the Same Boat

These thoughts have been expressed by others in recent weeks, with Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong warning two weeks ago that the regulations being suggested could “kill many of the emerging use cases for crypto”.

Hopefully secretary Mnuchin heeds the message behind the dissenting voices and is at least open to discussion on his U.S. cryptocurrency regulation plans, although with the administration having only five weeks left in office it is unlikely that there is time. It is hoped, therefore, that he has bigger fish to fry during his remaining time in office and drops his regulatory plans.