Senator Manchin Already Backing Off Bitcoin Ban

Journalist:
March 27, 2014
It’s only been a month since his Bitcoin ban letter, but Senator Joe Manchin is already changing his tune.

It was exactly one month ago that Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia decided to send a letter to regulators demanding a complete ban of Bitcoin. It was rather easy to point out all of the different flaws in the Senator’s argument, but it seems that he’s already changing his tune. While he was very adamant about the potential dangers Bitcoin could bring to Americans last month, it seems that he now sees the currency and payment system as a risky investment more than anything else. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Manchin was quoted as saying the recent regulatory intentions from various governments around the world make him “look at [Bitcoin] differently.”

The Path Towards Becoming a Bitcoiner

As weird as this may sound, Senator Joe Manchin is actually starting to go down a path that most people find themselves on before they become supporters of cryptocurrency. For the most part, everyone who finds out about Bitcoin originally dismissed it as nothing more than “nerd money”. This was the case for many prominent names in the Bitcoin space, such as Andreas Antonopoulos and Erik Voorhees. Most people are turned off by Bitcoin at first because it is difficult to understand. This new technological innovation is usually dismisses as nothing more than a tool for criminals before one realizes that the blockchain technology behind the payment system is actually much more important than the currency itself.

Manchin is Not Ready to Invest

Although he’s changing his tune a bit when it comes to whether or not Bitcoin should be banned, Manchin is not quite ready to invest in the currency. Here’s what Senator Manchin had to say when it comes to investing in bitcoins:

“There has to be something that’s tangible. If the feds can’t get their hands around it to where they can secure it, then I would be very leery of investing in it or trading with it or buying with it.”

It’s interesting to note that Manchin said he would be leery of investing in Bitcoin or using it as a real method of payment if the feds can’t get their hands around it. Does this mean that Senator Manchin sees real promise in a regulated form of Bitcoin? As we’ve noted in the past, true regulation inside the Bitcoin ecosystem is no simple task, so we’ll have to wait to see what happens after the Senator does a bit more research on the inner-workings of cryptocurrency as a whole.

No Authority to Regulate at This Time

It’s important to remember that the Federal Reserve still has no authority to regulate cryptocurrencies at this time. This was pointed out by Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Janet Yellen less than a month ago. Exactly who in the government has the authority to regulate Bitcoin is still up for debate, but it seems that everyone could be waiting on more clarification from New York. For now, most financial regulators are really offering nothing more than simple recommendations to consumers.

Kyle Torpey @kyletorpey

Kyle is a freelance Bitcoin writer and the Marketing Director for Bitcloud. His work has been featured on Business Insider, VICE Motherboard, Let's Talk Bitcoin, and RT's Keiser Report . You can follow him on Twitter (@kyletorpey) or send him an email.