Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted fellow lawmakers for attempting to regulate cryptocurrency despite their alleged ignorance on the subject.
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act contains a provision that would amend the Internal Revenue Code by introducing a “return requirement for certain transfers of digital assets not otherwise subject to reporting.” Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin would therefore be affected by the legislation.
Many found the term “broker” as defined by the provision to be ambiguous, raising questions about the infrastructure bill’s effects upon the nascent industry. On Monday, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sen. Cynthia Loomis (R-WY), and other lawmakers introduced an amendment that would alter the definition of “broker” so that software developers and transaction validators would not be subject to the new requirements.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blocked the amendment after Toomey brought it up for unanimous consent, thereby preserving the original cryptocurrency provision.
Cruz expressed concern that the infrastructure bill would now have unknown consequences for the digital asset ecosystem.
Sen. Ted Cruz on #crypto to the Senate: “We shouldn't regulate something we don't yet understand. We should actually take the time to try to understand it. We should hold some hearings … We shouldn't destroy people's lives and livelihoods from complete ignorance.” pic.twitter.com/pCjmTJ2YLH
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) August 9, 2021
“Because the Senator from Vermont raised that objection, the status quo right now is these new regulations are going into effect, and billions of dollars of value are going to be destroyed,” said Cruz. “Regulatory uncertainty is the number-one barrier to blockchain adoption… It would force every single participant in the cryptocurrency structure to operate as a financial institution, which would mean they would have to provide consumer information to the IRS even if they don’t have access to the information.”
“Let’s recognize if we gathered all 100 Senators in this chamber and asked them to stand up and articulate two sentences defining what in the hell a cryptocurrency is, that you would not get greater than five who could answer that question,” he added. “Given that reality, the barest exercise of prudence would say we shouldn’t regulate something we don’t yet understand; we should actually take the time to try and understand it.”
Other portions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act — which is 2,700 pages long — raised eyebrows among lawmakers and the American public.
For instance, the bill includes a section for “Advanced Drunk and Impaired Driving Prevention Technology,” which would require all new automobiles to install a system that can “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired” and “prevent or limit motor vehicle operation if an impairment is detected.” Alternatively, it could “passively and accurately detect” whether the blood alcohol concentration of a driver exceeds the legal limit, then “prevent or limit motor vehicle operation if a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit is detected.”