“We should prohibit U.S. persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies,” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) proclaimed during a Wednesday hearing of the House Committee on Agriculture. “Mining alone uses electricity which takes away from other needs and-or adds to the carbon footprint. As a store, as a medium of exchange, cryptocurrency accomplishes nothing except facilitating narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and tax evasion.”
As Mashable’s Jack Morse noted in an article published earlier this week, cryptocurrency is complicated. Perhaps it is this complication that led to some of the uninformed comments flying around during Wednesday’s meeting, but the use of electricity was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the Committee’s skepticism regarding the rising crypto craze.
Notably, not all speakers feigned knowledge on the inner workings of the blockchain or the cryptocurrency industry. Taking another stance against the new currencies on the block, Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) bluntly put his cards on the table. “We’re creating another money supply here as I see it. I just don’t know how that works,” he noted. “Our dollar sets the mark for the world. I can’t visualize how this would work.”
Confusion seemed to be a common thread throughout the hearing. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) plainly admitted that “there’s a lot of things here that don’t make much sense to me” when referencing the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.
While these comments highlight the confusion surrounding cryptocurrency, particularly among U.S. lawmakers, the hearing also stands as a boon to the legitimacy and prominence of the market. Bitcoin’s rise toward ubiquity has been underway for years now, but lawmakers are now beginning to take a long hard look at the wider cryptocurrency market. Most analysts agree that this is good news for the future of the industry.
To read a Mashable article on the recent House Committee on Agriculture hearing, visit http://ccw.fm/SVAb3
Mashable is a global, multi-platform media and entertainment company. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe.
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