US Senator Says Bitcoin Should Be Banned

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we love bitcoinMt.Gox, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world, collapsed this week and, as a result, several investors may end up losing close to $320 million. And then, on Friday 28. of February Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy. While a leaked document indicates that this could sound the death knell of bitcoin, a US senator has grabbed the opportunity to suggest a ban on bitcoin.

Senator Joe Manchin wrote a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and other US financial regulators recently. He pointed out that several countries “have cautioned against the use of Bitcoin” and that China and Thailand had already banned it. He also wrote that many countries, such as the European Union, have warned users of bitcoin because their governments are planning to either regulate or ban its use. He wrote, “I am most concerned that as Bitcoin is inevitably banned in other countries, Americans will be left holding the bag on a valueless currency.”

Public Reaction

Many people, especially Twitter users, have criticized the senator’s proposal to ban bitcoin. One of them is Erik Voorhees, the founder of SatoshiDice, a Bitcoin gaming site, and co-founder of Coinapult, a Bitcoin company. Erik Voorhees has tweeted, “Hey@Sen_JoeManchin, please join my campaign to ban the sun, for it’s burned way more people that MtGox and Bitcoin.”

Parker Higgins of the Electronic Frontier Foundation has also posted a tweet suggesting that the senator’s proposal is ridiculous. He said, “Senator calls for bitcoin ban as “disruptive to our economy.” Too bad bitcoin caused the global financial crisis.”

While Manchin’s letter suggests a ban on bitcoin, it does not explain how to enforce such a ban and is silent about other cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Has Many Critics

Senator Manchin, who has contributed a great deal to the sectors of commercial banking, investment, and securities, is not the only critic of bitcoin. Tom Carper of Delaware, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has also called for regulating bitcoin.

In a public statement issued recently, Carper said: “The disturbing news today from Japan is a reminder of the damage potentially ill equipped and unregulated financial actors can wreck on unsuspecting customers. US policymakers and regulators can and should learn from this incident to protect customers.”

According to an Economic Collapse News report of last month, the US Treasury has plans to regulate virtual currencies in the near future. Bitcoin critics have demanded quick government intervention and regulatory measures because they feel that the digital currency is a threat to the country’s banking industry.

Manchin’s Spokesperson Clarifies

Meanwhile, Manchin’s spokesperson has clarified that the senator has called for a ban on bitcoin only, and not other cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin and Litecoin. When questioned about the technical feasibility of a ban on bitcoin, the spokesperson said that the senator is in the process of collecting information on various ways to protect customers and this could include stricter regulatory measures or a ban.

Manchin’s letter is bad music to the ears of poker and casino players who use bitcoin, especially as it comes immediately after the closure of Mt. Gox. However, numerous members of the bitcoin community have chimed in on the matter and consider it to be no more than a publicity stunt.

March 1, 2014: • No Comments

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