The most virulently anti-Bitcoin congressman at this week’s House Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee hearing on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) received his largest campaign donations from industries threatened by widespread cryptocurrency adoption.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) — who made headlines when he called Bitcoin a “crock” during Wednesday’s hearing — has received more campaign donations during the current fiscal year from a digital payment processor than any other company, according to the Center for Responsible Politics.
This data was first discovered by a Reddit user, who decided to look into Sherman’s donation history in response to his uniquely-arrogant opinion on the value of cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology.
As CCN reported, Sherman repeatedly harped on Bitcoin’s alleged associations with terrorism and other illicit activities, quipping that “perhaps we’ll have another hearing after a major terrorist event” is financed using cryptocurrency.
Sherman also said that this branch of fintech is only “popular with guys who want to sit in their pajamas and tell their wives they’re going to be millionaires.”
According to the Center for Responsible Politics, Sherman received $12,500 from individuals associated with Allied Wallet, an e-commerce payment processor headquartered in Los Angeles.
While that might not seem like much, it represents the largest contribution that the congressman received from any single company during the current fiscal year — a company that, coincidentally, stands to experience significant disruption if cryptocurrency becomes a mainstream payment tool.
Additionally, the securities and investment industry contributed more money to Sherman — $56,700 — than any other economic sector, and there is little doubt that this industry would prefer that the government take a hostile stance on the nascent ICO fundraising model.
Incidentally, Allied Wallet was forced in 2010 to forfeit $13.3 million to settle Justice Department allegations that it had processed payments linked to illegal offshore gambling websites.
Perhaps someone should bring this to Rep. Sherman’s attention; surely, given his worries about cryptocurrency’s associations with illicit activities, he would similarly be quick to return Allied’s donations and reject contributions from the company moving forward.
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