Yesterday saw yet another U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing on regulatory frameworks for digital currencies and blockchain. Libra got another bashing, and Chairman, Mike Crapo, surmised the U.S. “couldn’t succeed” in banning Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies even if it wanted to.
Good Start For Bitcoin, Bad For Facebook
Crapo introduced the hearing on a positive note for crypto, noting that although the hearings had started by examining Libra, the cryptocurrency ecosystem was diverse, saying:
It seems to me that these technologies and other digital innovations are inevitable. They could be beneficial… and I believe the US should lead in their development. I look forward to hearing more about the ecosystem during this hearing.
His colleague, Senator Sherrod Brown, continued that previous hearings had left serious concerns about Facebook’s plan to ‘run its own currency out of a Swiss Bank Account’. Questions put to Calibra head, David Marcus had been dodged, proving again that Facebook doesn’t understand accountability. According to Brown, Facebook cannot be trusted as it just doesn’t care, preferring to ‘move fast and break things’.
“Now it wants to break our currency and payment systems hiding behind the phrase innovation,” Brown said.
We should be a little suspicious when someone tells us that only big corporations can be trusted to provide critical public services.
Current US Banking System is Broken
One thing agreed on by all the panellists was that the current U.S. Banking system is not working for everyone. High fees for basic services like ATMs, lack of real-time payment processing, and minimum balance requirements, mean 25% of U.S. Citizens are unbanked or underbanked.
Circle CEO, Jeremy Allaire, opined that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency could address this imbalance, and help to create a financial system with equal opportunity for everyone.