Call him as well: the DC Office number is 202-224-3954. Now, as to why we must fight the good fight:
This virtual currency is currently unregulated and has allowed users to participate in illicit activity
Yes, just like CASH, which is MORE ANONYMOUS THAN BITCOIN. If people like Senator Manchin read and understood how Bitcoin worked, they’d very quickly come to realize that criminals should hate it. It’s like every transaction you do is with marked bills. Every. Single. One. Permanently. Forever.
…while also being highly unstable and disruptive to our economy.
The commodity is highly unstable, do you want to ban penny stocks also? How is it disruptive to the economy? Hurting the banking sector that contributes to your campaigns? Yes, it is bad for them. It’s innovation. Innovation is always bad for whoever is winning. If disruption, and therefore innovation, are bad in Senator Manchin’s eyes, I don’t think I’m quite in agreement with him.
It also means that Bitcoin provides a unique digital fingerprint, which allows for anonymous and irreversible transactions.
Anyone see the contradiction? This is a false claim that gets repeated over, and over, and over. Bitcoin is not anonymous. It leaves a unique digital fingerprint. Bitcoin is pseudonymous. Each individual user is unique, but you don’t necessarily know who each one is. With detective work and a bit of Anti-Money-Laundering law, this problem gets solved. Luckily, THAT IS WHAT’S ALREADY GOING ON.
Sen. Manchin is correct about their irreversibility, however. That is a feature of the Bitcoin protocol.
Due to Bitcoin’s anonymity, the virtual market has been extremely susceptible to hackers and scam artists stealing millions from Bitcoins users.
Yes, Bitcoin has been the “wild west” of currency up until now. We’re slowly seeing that fix itself as individuals and groups build credibility. Is now a good time to mention that the recent MtGox crisis that deprived users of about $400 million is still only 0.6% of the estimated fraud committed by Bernie Madoff in the famous ponzi scheme. He did $65 billion worth of fraud. Why don’t we talk about that, Senator? This is not unique to Bitcoin, this is about people. There are bad people out there. Legislate against bad people, not good ideas that can be used by bad people for bad things. Bad people will always find ways to do bad things.
Bitcoin has also become a haven for individuals to buy black market items. Individuals are able to anonymously purchase items such as drugs and weapons illegally. I have already written to regulators once on the now-closed Silkroad, which operated for years in supplying drugs and other black market items to criminals, thanks in large part to the creation of Bitcoin.
Replace Bitcoin here with cash. The argument still works perfectly, and that’s how the vast majority of illegal drug and weapon deals are done: cash. Do you want to ban cash, which is actually MORE anonymous than Bitcoin? No? Didn’t think so. So stop using it as an argument against Bitcoin.
That is why more than a handful of countries, and their banking systems, have cautioned against the use of Bitcoin. Indeed, it has been banned in two different countries—Thailand and China—and South Korea stated that it will not recognize Bitcoin as a legitimate currency. Several other countries, including the European Union, have issued warnings to Bitcoin users as their respective governments consider options for regulating or banning its use entirely. While it is disappointing that the world leader and epicenter of the banking industry will only follow suit instead of making policy, it is high time that the United States heed our allies’ warnings. I am most concerned that as Bitcoin is inevitably banned in other countries, Americans will be left holding the bag on a valueless currency.
First, Sen. Manchin only mentions the negative regulations–which are very few. He fails to mention the unbelievably huge number of governments that are outright supportive of it, including our own.
That’s not even the end of the list. I just stopped looking because I wanted to finish writing.
Second, Sen. Manchin is either just wrong or purposefully lying. China hasn’t “banned” Bitcoin. It has stated that it is not considered a currency in China, and warned citizens about the risks of investment in it. There are several very prominent Chinese Bitcoin exchanges that are doing a great job operating. He did leave out a country that really is basically banning Bitcoin, though: Russia. So Senator Manchin wants to do what Russia and China are doing. I think I speak for most Americans when I say that those are two of the last countries I want our nation emulating. America stands for freedom, and keeping Bitcoin legal is defending our personal economic freedom to transact as we wish, and to invest as we wish. Use of your own property is a fundamental human right.
Our foreign counterparts have already understood the wide range of problems even with Bitcoin’s legitimate uses – from its significant price fluctuations to its deflationary nature. Just last week, Bitcoin prices plunged after the currency’s major exchange, Mt. Gox, experienced technical issues. Two days ago, this exchange took its website down and is no longer even accessible. This was not a unique event; news of plummeting or skyrocketing Bitcoin prices is almost a weekly occurrence.
Yes, Sen. Manchin, let’s ban penny stocks too. Great plan. You can’t ban something just because it’s a speculative investment. That’s ridiculous. People can invest their money however they want to.
In addition, its deflationary trends ensure that only speculators, such as so-called “Bitcoin miners,” will benefit from possessing the virtual currency.
Ah, the good ol’ so-called “air quotes to make things fishy” plan of assault. Bitcoin miners are not speculators in Bitcoin. They are what run the transaction logs and make the system work. They are providing a system as valuable as the Internet. Not realizing that shows clearly that Sen. Manchin has willfully misunderstood how Bitcoin works. I’m happy to explain it to him, if he likes.
To his point, though, yes, people who invest early in a speculative venture tend to reap the most profits if it’s successful. Should we ban letting people invest in startups? They often profit much more than the people who purchase the company once it’s publicly available. Only those “speculators” will benefit from the “new business models” that places like Google and Apple create. Let’s ban those.
There is no doubt average American consumers stand to lose by transacting in Bitcoin.
Nuh-uh, Sen. Manchin. The average American consumer has a lot to gain. They cut out middlemen like Western Union when sending money to friends and family. If they run a business, they can use it to pay less in credit card fees. If their bank charges them excessive fees, they can use Bitcoin to prevent them. If they write or make music, they can use it to protect their copyright. The list is almost endless. I wrote a short book, maybe take a look at it, Senator? It might teach you some things Bitcoin can do for our country.
As of December 2013, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows 1.3% inflation, while a recent media report indicated Bitcoin CPI has 98% deflation.
Hahahahahahaha. Wow, Sen. Manchin, on the Banking and Finance Committtee, just said this. I hope this goes down in history as one of the most asinine comments ever made by a US Senator. Bitcoin had a “98% deflation” because it gained so much value. The dollar lost that much value relative to Bitcoin, in other words. Yes, that speculative, high-risk investment you want to ban showed why it’s high-risk: enormous returns. Unbelievably disingenuous.
In other words, spending Bitcoin now will cost you many orders of wealth in the future. This flaw makes Bitcoin’s value to the U.S. economy suspect, if not outright detrimental.
That first one is only true if the value keeps going up. If it stops, or stabilizes like EVERY OTHER CURRENCY EVER DOES, then that is no longer the case. As more people get involved, investment banks will get involved. They will maximize profits by operating the spread, which in turn stabilizes the underlying asset. This happens to EVERY. SINGLE. FINANCIAL. INSTRUMENT. Bitcoin is not special in that way. It will be stabilized for profit.
Is it a flaw that the currency doesn’t lose value over time like the dollar? I wasn’t aware of that. Why would that affect Bitcoin’s contribution to the economy? What Bitcoin contributes to the economy is an immense and awesome technology that solved the Byzantine General’s problem and created a trustless medium of exchange. The value it provides to the US economy has NOTHING to do with its price, and everything to do with the innovation it allows for. If Sen. Manchin had researched and understood the topic, he would know that.
The clear ends of Bitcoin for either transacting in illegal goods and services or speculative gambling make me weary of its use.
I’m very weary of your ignorant letter, Senator. But you meant wary, not weary. Wary, as in afraid. Afraid of change–like the banks that pay for your campaigns.
Don’t let Senator Manchin win this one. Don’t let the United States follow in the footsteps of Russia and China on this issue. We are the voice for change, progress, and freedom in the world. The essence of Bitcoin is American. It democratizes the money system in a way never seen before.
If you feel as strongly about this as I do, please consider sharing this article. We need to fight back against Sen. Manchin. We can’t let outrageous statements like this go unopposed by the Bitcoin community. We need to fight for the future we want.
Another way you can help fight is by writing or calling in to Sen. Manchin.
Consider calling his office as well. His DC Office number is 202-224-3954.
ROUND 1: FIGHT