While Congress considers 24 anti-crypto bills, one lawmaker offers support

It is often said that U.S. Congressmen live within a “Washington D.C. Bubble”, especially when it comes to understanding technology. The abrasive reaction toward both Mark Zuckerberg and David Marcus and their Libra initiative was defintely over the top. One Congressman was moved to say succinctly:

This is the government putting the very concept of cryptocurrency on trial.” As both executives maintained during their respective hearings, however, other countries will move to fill the space vacated by the U.S. Recent articles about China’s commitment to blockchain are evidence of this fact.

According to CryptoBriefing, Patrick McLain, co-founder of San Francisco-based blockchain accelerator MouseBelt, told reporters that uninformed lawmakers overreacted and forgot that competition is already heating up in the sector, but he argued that:

Lawmakers have drawn a line in the sand that says, ‘Cryptocurrency is unwelcome in the United States, and we will do everything in our power to stop it — including villain-ize some of the world’s best innovators.

As we reported on the day of Zuckerberg’s hearing:

Zuckerberg reiterated once more that he had no intention of ever launching the product without regulatory approval at every step of the way, but various Congressmen have already been jumping the gun to put obstacles in the way, introducing as many as 21 bills related to blockchain developments. On the Friday preceding the hearing, however, three new bills were put forward that could seriously undermine any Fintech efforts, including those of Libra, in the cryptocurrency arena.”

Not all of the Congressmen were negative. A few expressed reservations about stepping too hard on innovation or by grandstanding so many bills to stifle an industry that is already a decade in development with a market cap in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Tom Emmer, a Republican Congressman for Minnesota, has stepped forward and announced his intention to provide crypto programs relief from the SEC’s threats to classify them securities and subject them to the stringent requirements of those laws.

Emmer is no stranger to Fintech and the support it needs in order to thrive and prosper. He once served as co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and has proposed crypto-friendly legislation in the past. Today, he is bothered by the uncertainty that various state and federal agencies create by the lack of consistency in their respective rulings:

Companies that have followed our current rules of the road, even if convoluted, deserve the certainty that they can offer their digital asset to the public and help contribute to a truly decentralized network.

He was also perturbed by the lack of preparation or conscious study that his fellow Congressmen had obviously demonstrated for technology matters prior to Zuckerberg’s appearance, and he stated as much to Mark during the hearing:

I can safely say that this is at least the second time you’ve testified before Congress, where members look like they have invested absolutely no time learning about new technologies in order to responsibly question tech companies.”

In the meantime, the SEC continues to harass companies, forcing refunds, assessing fines, and using intimidation to get their point across. It has even gone so far as to demand refunds for U.S. citizens that invested in overseas projects like Block.one and Telegraph. Hopefully, Emmer’s bill will get the support it needs in order to clarify the current situation, so that the U.S. crypto industry can move forward with confidence.

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