U.S. Congressman Proposes Bill to Outlaw Cryptocurrency Purchases

During a Financial Services Committee hearing held this Thursday (May 9, 2019) U.S. Congressman Bradley Sherman (D-California) proposed a bill to outlaw cryptocurrency purchases in the country over their potential to undermine the U.S. dollar.

Sherman’s concerns regarding the cryptocurrency space are based on its ability to undermine the U.S. dollar. The Congressman stated:

I look for colleagues to join with me in introducing a bill to outlaw cryptocurrency purchases by Americans, so that we nip this in the bud, in part because an awful lot of our international power comes from the fact that the dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions.

He added that cryptocurrencies have the ability to empower nations that have been sanctioned by the United States, claiming it is the “announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrency to take that power away from us,” and put the United States in a position where international sanctions are irrelevant.

Sherman’s concerns may here be somewhat justified, as embattled nations have been known to turn to cryptocurrencies. Venezuela, for example, launched an oil-backed cryptocurrency to raise funds and bypass international sanctions, while Iran launched a gold-backed crypto shortly after seeing its banks get banned from using the SWIFT financial messaging system.

The Congressman also referred to Hamas’ efforts to raise funds using bitcoin. As covered, the group’s military wing managed to raise $7,400 worth of the flagship cryptocurrency in a few months while experimenting with crypto.

Most in the cryptocurrency space believe a ban on cryptocurrency purchases in the United States is unlikely, given the cryptocurrency community’s strength in the county, and the support that has been shown to the industry so far.

Notably, this is the second time this month a high-profile figure calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies. As covered, renowned economist Joseph Stiglitz argued we should “shut down cryptocurrencies” after defending the U.S. dollar.

This is also not the first time Sherman himself attacks cryptocurrencies. Last July, he declared U.S. citizens should be prohibited from “buying or mining cryptocurrencies.” In front of a subcommittee.