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Congressman: ‘Prohibit US Persons From Buying Or Mining Cryptocurrencies’; Crypto World Erupts

In his opening remarks at the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade (Committee on Financial Services) Hearing: ‘The Future of Money: Digital Currency’ on July 18, 2018, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) called for the prohibition of both buying an mining cryptocurrencies (crypto) for all US citizens.

Brad Sherman (D-CA) commenting before the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade (Committee on Financial Services) Hearing: “The Future of Money: Digital Currency” on July 18, 2018.

Brad Sherman (D-CA) commenting before the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade (Committee on Financial Services) Hearing: “The Future of Money: Digital Currency” on July 18, 2018.

With this statement, he turned over the cryptocurrency rock, and true to form, the denizens underneath predictably scurried about, spouting tired, fallacious counterarguments on social media and in the crypto press.

Sherman’s argument calling for the ban of crypto in the US contrasted crypto and the US dollar. “The role of the US dollar in an international financial system is a critical component of US power,” Sherman said. “It brought Iran to the negotiating table.”

Regardless of one’s opinion on the deal the US and its allies made with Iran, “We would have nothing had it not been for the role of the dollar,” Sherman added.

The power of the US dollar overseas depends in large part upon its seigniorage – the difference between the face value of currency and the cost of printing it. “There is seigniorage, the money that we make as a country because we’re the reserve currency, because we can issue a greenback that does not yield interest,” Sherman explained. “There are people who are alive today because of the profits the US government makes on that, whether it be to fund defense or medical research, all of that gets diminished with cryptocurrency.”

Emphasizing Crypto’s Role in Crime

While Sherman’s comments about crypto vs. the US dollar speak to his position as a representative of the Federal Government, his statements about crypto’s role in crime apply globally. “As a medium of exchange, cryptocurrency accomplishes nothing except facilitating narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and tax evasion,” Sherman pointed out.

Perhaps because of the time limit for his remarks, Sherman didn’t mention other, equally insidious criminal roles for cryptocurrency – cryptojacking, electricity theft, and mining by organized crime syndicates. He did reference how electricity for mining “takes away from other needs and/or adds to the carbon footprint,” however.

Perhaps his strongest argument for banning crypto attacks the philosophy at the heart of the crypto movement. “Some of its supporters delight in that [facilitation of criminal enterprise] – that if you can disempower the US government from being able to prevent terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and tax evasion, you have somehow struck a blow for liberty,” he said. “That is reason enough to ban it.”

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Intellyx publishes the Agile Digital Transformation Roadmap poster, advises companies on their digital transformation initiatives, and helps vendors communicate their agility stories. As of the time of writing, none of the organizations mentioned in this article are Intellyx customers. The author does not own, nor does he intend to own, any cryptocurrency or other cryptotokens, or any interest in any ICOs. Image credit: US Congress.

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More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is a leading IT industry analyst, Forbes contributor, keynote speaker, and globally recognized expert on multiple disruptive trends in enterprise technology and digital transformation. He is ranked #5 on Onalytica’s list of top Digital Transformation influencers for 2018 and #15 on Jax’s list of top DevOps influencers for 2017, the only person to appear on both lists.

As founder and president of Agile Digital Transformation analyst firm Intellyx, he advises, writes, and speaks on a diverse set of topics, including digital transformation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, devops, big data/analytics, cybersecurity, blockchain/bitcoin/cryptocurrency, no-code/low-code platforms and tools, organizational transformation, internet of things, enterprise architecture, SD-WAN/SDX, mainframes, hybrid IT, and legacy transformation, among other topics.

Mr. Bloomberg’s articles in Forbes are often viewed by more than 100,000 readers. During his career, he has published over 1,200 articles (over 200 for Forbes alone), spoken at over 400 conferences and webinars, and he has been quoted in the press and blogosphere over 2,000 times.

Mr. Bloomberg is the author or coauthor of four books: The Agile Architecture Revolution (Wiley, 2013), Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (Wiley, 2006), XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996). His next book, Agile Digital Transformation, is due within the next year.

At SOA-focused industry analyst firm ZapThink from 2001 to 2013, Mr. Bloomberg created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011.

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting), and several software and web development positions.