As blockchain technology’s perceived legitimacy grows, politicians in the United States have demonstrated an increasing interest in converting this non-partisan technology into a political issue.
When Hillary Clinton appeared via video link at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, she cautioned the audience about the dangers of cryptocurrencies, which she called an “interesting” technology, but which could also destabilize countries “perhaps starting with small ones but going much larger.” Elizabeth Warren, a major Democrat and senator, has often slammed the crypto market during committee hearings. Clinton’s attitude on crypto is similar to Warren’s.
Speaking about ransomware assaults and the crypto payments that go along with them, Clinton made the remarks while defending Russian President Vladimir Putin from accusations that he is leading an information and cyber warfare operation. Unknown to the public, the former presidential candidate’s motives for linking Russia to an apparently apolitical financial instrument like cryptocurrency might be damaging to US politicians on both sides of the aisle who are seeking to implement policies.
In the United States, party politics may be humorously polarizing at times. A few examples of this include the destruction of Nike sneakers and Keurig brewing equipment by Republican voters who were outraged by the national anthem protest by Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback. Social media postings and declarations from conservatives have inflamed the debate around vaccinations and face masks in the United States, which is typically portrayed as an issue of “freedom.”
In 2018, former President Bill Clinton spoke at Ripple’s Swell conference, noting that the “permutations and possibilities” of blockchain were “staggeringly huge,” yet he had been out of government for about 17 years when he made these claims. In light of Hillary Clinton’s anti-crypto statements, how could the problem be addressed by politicians already in office?
One trillion dollars worth of infrastructure projects were given the green light by Vice President Joe Biden, including stricter regulations on companies that deal in cryptocurrencies as well as a broader definition of assets subject to reporting for brokers. Despite the fact that the law passed both houses of Congress 69–30 in the Senate and 228–206 in the House, the wording on cryptography seemed to be more of a bipartisan issue.
As a Republican senator who has often sided with her party on contentious matters, such as the Jan. 6 Washington, D.C. attacks and whether or not to impeach former President George W. Bush, Cynthia Lummis has crossed party lines on cryptocurrency. Senator Ron Wyden and Lummis are working together to pass new legislation that changes the law’s tax reporting requirements so that they don’t apply to certain persons.
However, other initiatives by Democratic and Republican politicians imply a temporary convergence, at least in terms of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. With the National Republican Congressional Committee and several of its candidates accepting bitcoin payments, the Texas Democratic Party is preparing a trial program targeted at generating money for politicians and causes using nonfungible tokens.
The infrastructure bill, which was heavily condemned by many pro-crypto activists throughout its lengthy review process in the US Senate and House of Representatives, has finally been signed into law.
The $1 trillion infrastructure bill was signed by President Joe Biden in front of media, politicians, and union members during a White House event. However, despite the fact that the bipartisan legislation aims to provide funding for infrastructure projects such as bridges, roads, internet access as well as solar panels, and electric vehicle charging stations, lawmakers included language that could be applied to cryptocurrencies prior to its passage.
Businesses dealing in cryptocurrency will be subject to more stringent regulations and reporting requirements as a result of a measure enacted by Congress. As a result of this legislation, each digital asset transaction above $10,000 must be disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service beginning in 2017. In August, a group of senators suggested an amendment to the law that would have clarified the reporting requirements for cryptocurrency taxes, but the idea was rejected.
Throughout the day, speakers emphasized the need for bipartisanship and the importance of passing the law, with many urging Democrats and Republicans to work together. Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Rob Portman, as well as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, were individually congratulated by Vice President Joe Biden for their efforts in passing the law.
“We’ve spoken about our economy being the finest in the world for too long.” […] US President Barack Obama remarked, “Today, we’re finally getting this done.” It’s going to be a better time for you in the United States.
However, Pat Toomey, a Republican senator from Massachusetts, objected to the bill’s “explicit and unjustified” use of crypto-related terminology when it passed the Senate. According to him, crypto tax reporting is “unworkable.”
While it is now impossible for any U.S. legislator to amend the content of the crypto reporting requirement, some have exploited the bill’s passing as a call to action. According to Shannon Bray, the Libertarian candidate for one of North Carolina’s senate seats, the law’s implementation may be fought by electing “crypto-friendly senators.”
However, Senators Ron Wyden and Cynthia Lummis reportedly made a last-ditch effort in an attempt to amend the tax reporting rules for “individuals creating blockchain technology and wallets” to “not apply.” With regard to Wyden and Lummis’ infrastructure plan, it isn’t obvious how it will influence the existing law awaiting President Trump’s signature.