A recent Senate hearing on crypto shows just how divided the congressional floor is on the world of digital assets. Some really think it has a lot to offer, while others just want to tear it down and keep investors locked up in a world of fear and tension.
The Senate Is Split on Crypto
Sherrod Brown – a democrat from Ohio and the head of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee – opened the discussion up with the following statement:
What a difference a year makes. The cryptocurrency industry spent a whopping $54 million on eight ads promising Americans untold riches and a chance to make history. Of course, they didn’t tell us about the high fees, the risk of loss, the outright theft that plagued the crypto industry, but if you watched the Super Bowl [a few] nights ago, you didn’t see a single ad for crypto.
He says that following the collapse of FTX and the many bankruptcies and price problems that occurred in 2022, the crypto arena has practically “imploded.” Elizabeth Warren – a senator from Massachusetts and a big-time crypto hater – seems to agree and commented:
Big-time financial criminals love crypto. Just last year, just in one yea, crypto was the payment method of choice for international drug traffickers, who raked in over a billion dollars through crypto; North Korean hackers, who stole $1.7 billion and funneled that money into their nuclear program; and ransomware attackers, who took in almost $500 million. The crypto market took in $20 billion last year in illicit transactions. That’s why Sen. Roger Marshall and I are reintroducing our anti-money laundering bill to clamp down on crypto crime and give regulators the tools they need to stop the flow of crypto to drug traffickers in places like North Korea and Iran.
While the above mentioned individuals were the resounding voices of gloom and doom, others expressed positive thoughts about crypto and felt that when pushed in the right direction, it could do great things. For example, J.D. Vance – a republican senator from Ohio – commented that crypto was like the “internet,” and that he’d been fascinated by it for some time.
Some Are Very Enthused
He said he recognized that there were present problems with crypto, but with the right safety measures put in place, he felt it could ultimately tower over other financial industries. He mentioned:
I recognize that there are downsides to it, that there are risks that come along with it. My basic bias here is that we don’t really know what it is yet, meaning not just cryptocurrency, but a lot of the other underlying related Web3 technologies and that our regulatory approach should basically be to protect consumers while ensuring that we don’t destroy the dynamic upside of this.
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