In an op-ed published in Townhall today, ATR Federal Affairs Manager Bryan Bashur highlights the Biden administration’s animosity toward the cryptocurrency industry. The Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and Securities and Exchange Commission are all implementing policies that resemble China’s crackdown on cryptocurrencies.
Recently, the Treasury Department lobbied to keep a broad definition of digital asset “broker” in the base text of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. As Bashur points out:
Treasury claims it needs the broad definition to better enforce tax compliance. However, it will only open the door for the IRS to compel every participant in the cryptocurrency ecosystem to report tax information. The reporting requirement will be especially burdensome for people who do not possess the appropriate information to file to the IRS.
Additionally, the Federal Reserve can only see problems with private cryptocurrencies. Dr. Brainard of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors is a strong proponent of crowding out private currencies by creating a central bank digital currency. However, there are significant issues with a central bank digital currency. Bashur explains that:
Privacy violations are yet another problem with a central bank digital currency. A paper published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative (and one that Chairman Gensler contributed too while he was still teaching at MIT) explicitly states that a central bank digital currency would open the door for the federal government to collate user data. The paper concludes that, “CBDC allows easier access to users’ identity tied with individuals’ financial information.”
As China cracks down on crypto mining for environmental concerns, the SEC is similarly cracking down on U.S. crypto by requiring additional disclosure information. Bashur says that:
The Biden administration is also attacking the cryptocurrency mining industry for its effects on the environment. In fact, Chairman Gensler is considering imposing climate disclosure mandates on cryptocurrency miners. What better way to stymie the growth in an industry than to require crypto miners to file complex compliance documents to the SEC. Not to mention the difficulty in quantifying the impact of their algorithms on climate change. This is a ludicrous request.
The Biden administration needs to encourage the growth of the crypto market in the United States, not impose burdensome regulations and policies that will stymie its growth. Implementing the same policies as Communist China will force cryptocurrencies to leave the U.S. market entirely.
Click here to read the full op-ed.