Brad Sherman, the congressman from California, has long been a vocal opponent of the growing digital currency market in the US, making the Democrat earn himself the title of ‘Crypto-villain’ amidst the crypto community.
Now, Sherman, who has been serving in the US House of Representatives since 1997, is up for reelection, making many in the crypto industry wonder about his future impact on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general if he gets reelected.
In recent months, the congressman has expressed strong hostility to any currency that threatens the US dollar and has come out strongly to lobby for an absolute ban on cryptocurrency. In May of 2019, Sherman was quoted saying that “bitcoin needs to be nipped in the bud.”
His rigid sentiments on crypto seem to be directly opposed to those of leading Democratic presidential candidates for 2020, Joe Biden. Biden has come across as rather progressive when it comes to emerging tech innovations such as cryptocurrencies.
Let’s Get Rid of Crypto Altogether
While the attitude of the US Congress towards Bitcoin has been softening in the past couple of months, there is still a strong political movement battling for the ban of cryptocurrencies.
Congressman Sherman, who holds an influential position in the House as a prominent member of the Financial Services Committee, appears to be leading that anti-crypto movement.
In 2019, Sherman appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the dangers of Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, saying that it poses an unprecedented threat to the traditional financial system and national security.
Sherman then quickly turned to crypto in general, claiming that these new class of assets serve no purpose other than to facilitate “nefarious transactions.”
As expected, Sherman’s views have not been received well by the crypto community. Many Twitter users have mocked his limited knowledge of the crypto industry, saying he was clueless about how Bitcoin actually works.
Another instance where Sherman’s fears over crypto were exhibited was in Oct. 2019 when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared in front of Congress to defend his company’s Libra project.
During the hearing, Sherman was quick to point out President Trump’s tweet regarding the use of cryptocurrencies for unlawful behavior and then drew the House’s attention to a RAND report that examines the use of crypto by terrorists.
To further demonstrate why the cryptocurrency is a poor financial choice, Sherman also referred to a recent case of the Palestinian fundamentalist group Hamas, which requested Bitcoin donations due to ongoing sanctions enforced by the US and President Trump.
Sherman’s Anti-Bitcoin Narrative Could Be Dangerous
If reelected to Congress, the Crypto-villain’s ability to build an anti-bitcoin narrative, coupled with his proficiency and technical knowledge in understanding crypto’s regulatory concerns, poses a big problem for the crypto community.
As a long-serving member of Congress ever since 1997, Sherman is a veteran politician in an influential position that could be extremely damaging if left unchecked.
Case in point, the US House Financial Services Committee recently held a hearing in Feb 2020 to address the topic of cryptocurrencies, and unsurprisingly, the California Congressman took the lead to amplify the sentiment that crypto security and secrecy allow domestic terrorists to fund their operations in the US.
The same concerns came from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director, Jared Maples, who reiterated that domestic terrorists find value in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ security and masked movements.
It seems that US officials are against the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies that allows it to evade control from central government watchdogs such as the SEC and the U. S Federal Reserve.
Resisting Crypto Could Hurt the U.S
The United States’ strict stance on crypto could grant others a financial advantage, given that more nations continue to utilize digital currencies and delve into blockchain technology.
In due course, innovation in those countries could rise above that of the US, putting America behind in terms of technical knowledge, skill, and prowess.
Perhaps Sherman should simply accept the reality that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and work toward implementing appropriate regulations for the emerging sector as proposed by Hester Peirce, a crypto-friendly Commissioner at the US SEC.