A lot of politicians, such as Senator Joe Manchin, don't really seem to understand how Bitcoin works. They often have misinformed beliefs about the virtual currency, such as the belief that Bitcoin is mostly used by criminals, leading them to the conclusion that Bitcoin needs to be banned. However, a few politicians actually understand and appreciate the cryptocurrency. Take U.S. House of Representatives member Jared Polis, for example. Last week, Polis essentially trolled Senator Manchin and Capitol Hill with a satirical letter stating that the United States should ban dollar bills.
"Dollar bills have gained notoriety in relation to illegal transactions; suitcases full of dollars used for illegal transactions were recently featured in popular movies such as American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club, as well as the gangster classic, Scarface, among others. Dollar bills are present in nearly all major drug busts in the United States and many abroad. According to the U.S. Department of Justice study, “Crime in the United States,” more than $1 billion in cash was stolen in 2012, of which less than 3% was recovered. The United States’ Dollar was present by the truck load in Saddam Hussein’s compound, by the carload when Noriega was arrested for drug trafficking, and by the suitcase full in the Watergate case. "
Polis's spokesperson Scott Overland stated that Polis's goal is to "help move the serious debate on digital currency forward so we can come up with ways to maximize the potential positive impacts that digital currency can have on the world economy, not ban them in their infancy." And unlike many politicians, it seems like Polis will be keeping this promise. Just today, the congressman sent out this email to his followers.
Polis highlights the illogical arguments used by those wishing to ban digital currencies. Furthermore, he believes that "decentralized digital currencies provide a transactional alternative to fiat currencies and that this new competition will benefit consumers." Currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin (yes, he even mentioned Dogecoin) "should stand or fall on their own and let the marketplace, not the government, determine their success or failure." Polis concludes the letter with a reassuring promise that he will "continue to oppose bans or restrictions on digital currencies."
Jared Polis is widely considered to be one of the most technologically knowledgeable members of Congress. He participated in an AMA on reddit last year, fought against SOPA, and even plays League of Legends. Bitcoin and other new technologies are sure to benefit from politicians who actually understand these new inventions.
Headline image from Getty Images.