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Bitcoin a Threat to Uninformed US Senators, Congressman Patrick McHenry Urges Them to Read the Whitepaper

Last Updated April 10, 2024 1:54 PM
Shraddha Sharma
Last Updated April 10, 2024 1:54 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Congressman McHenry stresses the necessity for a bipartisan effort to understand Bitcoin’s foundational principles.
  • Senators Gillibrand and Lummis are preparing to introduce legislation aimed at integrating stablecoins into the financial system.
  • Lummis points to policymakers’ fear of Bitcoin’s decentralized nature.

During the Bitcoin Policy Summit held at the National Press Club in Washington, dialogues unfolded among lawmakers concerning the future of Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency legislation. Congressman Patrick McHenry emphasized the need for both Democrats and Republicans to grasp the core principles of Bitcoin. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cynthia Lummis are on the brink of introducing new legislation aimed at stablecoins.

‘Left and Right Needs to Understand Bitcoin’

Congressman Patrick McHenry highlighted the importance of understanding the foundational principles of Bitcoin as outlined in Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper for both Democrats and Republicans. He said, “That they just need to spend a little time to understand, and if they understand, I think they will come to light here.”

He suggested that reading the whitepaper would facilitate more informed discussions. McHenry pointed out that a lack of basic understanding of Bitcoin and blockchain technology often leads individuals to fall prey to misinformation and subsequently propagate inaccuracies. 

The Congressman added, “And I think that is that is the foundational problem.”

He emphasized that misinformation is a significant issue, particularly when it fosters opposition to digital assets based on misconceptions rather than recognizing their potential benefits of enabling ownership and transactions without intermediaries.

McHenry’s statement underscores the need for policymakers to educate themselves on the technology behind Bitcoin to counteract false narratives and appreciate the innovation and opportunities it represents, especially in terms of financial independence and efficiency.

“So that misinformation is something that we have to push back against,” the official said.

Stablecoin Legislation on Way

Senator Cynthia Lummis believes that the current stance towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is largely influenced by fear among some high-ranking policymakers. She said, ” The state of play on Capitol Hill is, I think, best explained by what I see as the overarching motivations. And in this administration, there are a number of high-ranking policy positions that are held by people who are threatened by Bitcoin, because they know they can’t control it.”

According to Forbes , Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Cynthia Lummis are preparing to introduce new legislation focused on stablecoins in the coming days. They highlighted ongoing negotiations and indicated that the goal of this legislation is to align with Bitcoin’s foundational purpose as a payment method.

By collaborating with major regulatory bodies like the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, and the New York State Department of Financial Services, the proposed legislation aims to create a framework that would allow entities that do not hold customer deposits (non-depository institutions) to issue stablecoins. Congressman McHenry is of the view that the legislation could make a debut in 2024.

However, Senator Elizabeth Warren is expressing caution regarding the ongoing discussions in a letter to the senators.

Policymakers Fear Bitcoin

Lummis believes these individuals view Bitcoin as a threat due to its decentralized nature and the inability of governments to exert direct control over it.

The senator added, “They know its potential. And these are people that are so wedded to the government being in control of the money, how it’s spent, how it’s used, that they find it threatening, that something exists that they can’t control.”

She pointed to proposed legislative and regulatory actions, including a high tax on Bitcoin mining and what she perceives as overreaching inquiries by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) into the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining. According to Lummis, “We’re seeing things like a proposed 30% tax on Bitcoin mining…that was just egregious. And so these are the policy headwinds.”

For Lummis, regulatory clampdown represents attempts to curb the growth and influence of Bitcoin due to its potential to operate outside traditional government-controlled financial mechanisms.

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