“I look for colleagues to join with me in introducing a bill to outlaw cryptocurrency purchases by Americans, so that we nip this in the bud.”
Congressman Sherman, who’s from California, made the remarks May 9 at a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee.
Sherman says the ban is necessary because crypto threatens to undermine the U.S. dollar and is only useful for criminal activities like money-laundering, drug-dealing, and tax evasion.
Moreover, Sherman notes that crypto evangelists have made no secret of their desire to replace fiat currency. And that is unacceptable to him.
“An awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the U.S. dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions. Clearing through the New York Fed is critical for major oil and other transactions.”
“It is the announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrency to take that power away from us, to put us in a position where the most significant sanctions we have against Iran, for example, would become irrelevant.”
“So whether it is to disempower our foreign policy, our tax collection enforcement or traditional law enforcement, the advantage of crypto over sovereign currency is solely to aid in the disempowerment of the United States and the rule of law.”
Notably, Congressman Sherman says he’s alarmed by the spike in the use of cryptocurrencies for criminal activity.
He pointed to the example of Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which has been soliciting bitcoin donations due to the financial isolation it’s suffering as a result of US economic sanctions.
Hamas is a Palestinian Sunni-Islamist network that is largely funded by Iran. However, Iran is in the midst of a financial crisis due to harsh U.S. sanctions that have crippled its economy.
As a result, Iran has begun using cryptocurrencies and even started mining bitcoin to circumvent the sanctions.
To Congressman Brad Sherman, this is a clear-cut example of how crypto is being used by criminals to disempower American foreign policy.
Sherman conceded that cryptocurrencies have legitimate purposes, but it “is singularly a benefit for those who wish to commit crime.” This is not the first time that Congressman Sherman has railed against crypto.
On May 3, Sherman slammed Facebook’s foray into crypto. He tweeted:
“Desperate to show it believes in privacy, Facebook will build a cryptocurrency platform to protect the privacy of drug dealers, tax evaders, and terrorists.”
“The worldwide use of the U.S. dollar strengthens the U.S. economy and allows us to sanction rogue nations. Those desperate to weaken the U.S. pray for a crypto-alternative to the U.S. dollar.”
For those who are politically aware, it’s not surprising that Congressman Sherman vehemently opposes cryptocurrencies. Many Democrats are, although there are some that are open-minded.
In contrast, Republicans — who are generally pro-business — are far more open to promoting entrepreneurial ventures. For example, Hester Peirce, one of five SEC commissioners, is so pro-bitcoin that she has been nicknamed “Crypto Mom” (an ironic moniker considering she has no children).
Peirce is a Republican appointed by President Donald Trump. Trump has a number of top aides that are pro-crypto, including acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Similarly, CFTC chairman Christopher Giancarlo has earned the title of “Crypto Dad” for his pro-bitcoin positions. Giancarlo is also a Republican.
Unfortunately for crypto fans, he’s retiring soon. But his presumptive replacement, Heath Tarbert, will probably be open-minded about crypto given Trump’s hiring track record.
Last modified: July 2, 2020 8:24 PM UTC