Brad Sherman (D., Calif.), a known opponent of crypto, has slammed bitcoin as having ‘no societal value.’
Speaking with CNBC, the Congressman representing the 30th District of California reiterated his opinion that bitcoin has little intrinsic value and is only helpful as a vehicle for tax evasion.
But he is optimistic that once Know-Your-Customer and anti-money laundering rules come into play, cryptocurrency loses its merit as a vehicle for tax evasion.
Bitcoin, he argues, can do little to build the U.S. economy because it is not backed by anything.
Brad Sherman: Views are in the minority on Capitol Hill
One of Sherman’s arguments against bitcoin is that it aspires to be a currency that competes with the dollar. He says it comes from an anti-establishment culture designed to attack the “powers of society.” This sentiment was expressed during a House Financial Services Committee hearing for crypto bosses in Dec. 2021.
Sherman’s views are the exception rather than the rule amongst colleagues on Capitol Hill, where politicians seek to bring a coherent regulatory framework to oversee the industry. The California Congressman wants to get the sector under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission due to the agency’s size and the crypto’s likeness to securities.
On the other hand, the recent Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation bill advocated that some cryptocurrencies be taken out of the jurisdiction of the SEC and placed under the purview of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission.
Like Sherman, who concerns himself with investor protection, the Responsible Financial Innovation bill seeks to address the issue of investor protection while promoting financial innovation. However, Sherman hasn’t indicated that he views cryptocurrencies as innovative.
In a further blow to Sherman’s lobbying, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) recently tabled a bill intent on bringing most cryptocurrencies under the purview of the CFTC.
Crypto has too much behind it, Sherman concedes
The Congressman has put to bed any hopes he might have had of cryptocurrencies being outlawed. Speaking to the LA Times on Sep. 4, 2022, Sherman lamented that contributions by key crypto industry advocates to politicians’ campaigns have snuffed out any chance of crypto being outlawed.
In May 2022, Be[In]Crypto reported that FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried had funneled over $30 million into super Political Action Committees. These entities promote specific political candidates or lobby for their defeat. A group called the Financial Freedom PAC sought to oust Sherman in favor of Aarika Rhodes, a believer in bitcoin’s ability to democratize finance. Rhodes lost the midterm primary in June 2022 and now awaits the general election in Nov. 2022.
One of the founders of the Financial Freedom PAC said in May 2022 that the fight for bitcoin will be a marathon, not a sprint.