Brad Sherman, a California Democrat, called for members of Congress to join him in introducing a bill to outlaw cryptocurrency purchases by Americans.
The world-wide use of the U.S. dollar strengthens the U.S. economy and allows us to sanction rogue nations. Those desperate to weaken the U.S. pray for a crypto-alternative to the U.S. dollar. 3/3
— Rep. Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) May 3, 2019
During the May 9th Committee on Financial Services, Sherman claimed that cryptocurrency is supplanting the US dollar in the financial system when it comes to conducting illicit activity:
“I’ll point out though that as we deal with illicit finance focusing on our banking system and our currency, cryptocurrency is moving in to fill the role…[there are detailed instructions on] how it’s secure and secret [and] how it can meet your needs if you’re a tax evader or a drug dealer or a terrorist.”
Bitcoin’s association with illegal activity is understandable. The technology gained much of its initial traction by servicing the underground community. Its use in facilitating transactions on the Silk Road to purchase drugs and other illegal services was both a factor in the technology’s adoption and its lingering reputation that it is only useful for illegal purposes.
However, outside of Bitcoin, there are hundreds of cryptocurrencies which are attempting to solve useful real-world problems.
“I would regard cryptocurrencies as the plastic gun of currency. That is to say, it can be used for a legitimate purpose,” said Sherman. “You can shoot a deer with a plastic gun but the fact is the advantage it has over traditional mechanisms is singularly a benefit for those who wish to commit crime.”
Although many in the community have responded that Sherman is grossly overlooking the useful applications of cryptocurrency,