U.S. Congressman Jim Himes says that Congress is not ready to pass cryptocurrency legislation anytime soon, citing a lack of deep understanding of cryptocurrencies among lawmakers. “There’s going to be a lot of discussion in the coming years about ways to regulate” cryptocurrencies, said the congressman.
Crypto Legislation Not Expected From Congress Anytime Soon
U.S. Representative Jim Himes has revealed some discussions Congress is having regarding cryptocurrency legislation in an interview with Yahoo Finance Friday. The Connecticut representative serves as the chair of the National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee. He previously worked at investment bank Goldman Sachs for 12 years.
His crypto comments came as the U.S. Treasury published a proposal to require businesses to report crypto transactions above $10K to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Himes said that Congress is not ready to act on crypto legislation anytime soon. “Most of my colleagues don’t have a deep understanding of cryptocurrencies, what they can do, what the dangers are,” he described, emphasizing that “Congress has not spent a lot of time on it.” The lawmaker elaborated:
So, for better or for worse, there’s not going to be legislation passed out of the United States Congress anytime soon.
“That said, more and more of my colleagues are becoming aware,” he continued. Congress also has a pro-bitcoin senator, Cynthia Lummis, who has vowed to show her colleagues in Congress that bitcoin is a great store of value. She also plans to convince Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen of the same.
Congressman Himes proceeded to describe the atmosphere in Congress surrounding crypto discussions, referencing Nobel laureate Paul Krugman’s recent opinion piece, published in The New York Times, which he said was “relatively well characterized.”
Himes described, “Innovative ideas, that’s interesting, what does it actually do, what problem does it solve.” Pointing out that the benefits to “drug dealers, human traffickers, [and] potential terrorists” are pretty clear to him, he reiterated, “Tell me what the other benefits are.” The congressman noted, “That is sort of general atmosphere in Congress where people are saying ‘tell me again what’s good about cryptocurrencies, what problem does it solve.’”
Nonetheless, Himes emphasized:
Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean there is going to be an attempt to ban it.
He expects that “There’s going to be a lot of discussion in the coming years about ways to regulate, how to tax, etc. etc. — all this stuff that causes the government to intersect with something like cryptocurrency.”
“In a bigger frame of reference, the piling into cryptocurrencies, the Gamestop bubble, Robinhood, SPACs, I could list for you 12 things that feel to me like they are largely a function not of deep fundamental investment research but largely a function of immense amounts of liquidity,” he added, noting:
I don’t know that those things necessarily need to be regulated. I’m not saying that.
“But it is very clear to me that there’s a lot of people out there who believe that trees grow to the sky and will get a very expensive education in what the downside of volatility looks like when we do see some kind of bear market or some kind of depression in asset prices. A lot of people are going to get very expensive education when that happens,” the congressman warned.
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