Congressman Brad Sherman, a vocal critic of the crypto industry, again called for a complete ban on cryptocurrencies. Sherman said Bitcoin had no real use other than to fund illicit activities and warned about the risks cryptocurrencies pose to the political and financial stability in the U.S., he said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Cryptocurrencies only facilitate nefarious activities, California Congressman says
While the attitude of the U.S. Congress towards Bitcoin has been mellowing down in the past couple of weeks, there is still a strong political current fighting for a world without cryptocurrencies. Congressman Brad Sherman, a ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, seems to be leading that current.
Sherman recently appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the dangers of Facebook‘s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, saying that it poses an unprecedented threat to the U.S. economy and national security. However, the discussion quickly turned to cryptocurrencies in general, with Sherman saying that they serve no function unless it’s to facilitate “nefarious transactions.”
His believes that the U.S. government should prohibit cryptocurrencies because they disempower the Federal government. Sherman pointed out that there was a strong libertarian and anarchist train in the U.S. that rejoices every time the federal government loses a bit of its power. This, he explained, only serves to weaken the country and goes against what both Democrat and Republican parties stand for.
Libra will become a Bitcoin offramp favored by criminals
To support his stance that Bitcoin is used to fund illegal activities, Sherman cited an unnamed “peer-reviewed” study that found that 46 percent of its transactions are “for people who are doing things illegally under U.S. law.”
But, unlike some of his Congress colleagues, Sherman doesn’t seem to believe that Bitcoin is an unstoppable force. California’s San Fernando Valley representative indicated that Bitcoin is just a symptom of a larger problem.
“Bitcoin is a small baby here. You can’t buy a pack of gum for a Bitcoin. It has to have to an off ramp so that you can then convert it into a sovereign currency,” he said Bloomberg TV.
Libra, he said, solves that problem, as it would allow “drug dealers” and other criminals to seamlessly get the money they can then spend on luxuries without needing to exit the crypto world.
As expected, Sherman’s interview was not well received by the crypto community. Many Twitter users mocked his limited knowledge of the crypto industry, saying he was clueless about how Bitcoin actually works. They cited numerous ways one can use Bitcoin to purchase goods and services, ranging from buying legal marijuana to buying a new Tesla.
We are yet to see whether Sherman’s words will have any impact on any of the following hearings scheduled for Libra. Bitcoin, on the other hand, seems largely unbothered as its price seems to be retaining upward momentum above $10,000.