US Lawmaker Suggests ‘Maybe’ Crypto Should Be Banned Citing Bigger Issues Than FTX

A U.S. senator has suggested that cryptocurrency should “maybe” be banned following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX. However, he acknowledged that banning crypto “is very difficult because it will go offshore and who knows how that will work.”

Senator Sherrod Brown Suggests Banning Crypto

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, talked about cryptocurrency in an interview with NBC Sunday.

He stated that the Treasury Department and all the different regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), need to get together and assess any possible action related to the cryptocurrency market. Referring to the SEC and CFTC, the senator said:

We want them to do what they need to do. At the same time, maybe banning it, although banning it is very difficult because it will go offshore and who knows how that will work.

Last week, the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing on the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. The House Financial Services Committee also held a separate hearing on FTX a day prior.

FTX filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11 and its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has been arrested and is now in jail in the Bahamas. He and his crypto firm are facing several fraud charges brought against them by the U.S. government and regulators. The U.S. is seeking Bankman-Fried’s extradition. However, SBF told the Bahamas court Monday that he will make a decision only after he has seen all the indictments against him.

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Senator Brown on Crypto Regulation

The senator from Ohio also said Sunday that the cryptocurrency market is a “complicated, unregulated pot of money” and the issue was much larger than FTX. “So we’ve got to do this right,” he stressed.

“I’ve spent much of the last eight years and a half in this job as chair of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee,” Brown continued, elaborating:

Educating my colleagues and trying to educate the public about crypto and the dangers that it presents to our security as a nation and the consumers that get hoodwinked by them.

Last week, Senator Pat Toomey explained in his opening remarks at the Senate hearing on FTX that the crypto exchange’s fallout does not justify banning or “pausing” crypto. “Some of my colleagues have suggested pausing cryptocurrencies before we can address it. This is profoundly misguided, not to mention impossible. Short of enacting draconian, authoritarian policies, cryptocurrency cannot be stopped. If we tried, the technology would simply migrate offshore,” he warned.

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Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




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