The Bitcoin Center has been opened in New York on the New Year’s Eve and has featured many interesting guests, who play leading parts not only in the development of the Bitcoin, but also in the current and future times of the USA. Among the attendants of the opening ceremony and the event was the congressman Steve Stockman, who recently started accepting Bitcoin as donations for his 2014 campaign. He even attached a QR-code of his altcoin wallet to attract the interest of other participants and to show new paths for the cryptocurrency.
During the busy happening, Mr. Stockman has succeeded in answering several questions, considering his political plans and attitude towards Bitcoin. At first, the congressman has voiced the pleasure to attend the meeting at the Times Square and praised the event as “the greatest party, the smartest people”.
Mr. Stockman, of course, has been asked about his political work and career. He was pleased to provide some background on his experience and work - he has been in Congress in the 90’s, but afterwards has not been in charge for a decade or even longer. The present convocation brought him the place from Huston and he is really proud to represent his home Texas. Both being in the Congress and outside it, he was interested in technological matters that are changing or are going to change the everyday life. Among other recent interesting and determining inventions besides Bitcoin, he mentioned 3D printers and nanotubes. His personal view is:
“[They] are going to be industrial disruption. [They] would change things fundamentally.”
Continuing the idea he predicts the future of Bitcoin as –
“It could be the world currency, much as the dollar. I think it is going to be more efficient. It will eliminate the borders and reach all corners.”
The topical theme of interest of all interviewers and guests were his point on regulation of cryptographic currencies and virtual payment methods. He was also asked how he sees the regulation acts that might be developed by the government and how these actions might change the role of the USA in the Bitcoin environment. Mr. Stockman sees two crucial topics the country has to consider and work on. First of all - safety – as the coins can still be stolen from a computer; secondly, the questions around taxation. The congressman allowed himself to draw a parallel between the digital coin and the Internet:
“If You look on the internet, there is no taxation”.
The comparison provides with the following conclusion – the decisions can be made only by educated people, who have gained the crucial amount of information. Noncompliance to this principle might lead to disturbance in the fluent and stable development rate of the online finance industry. Mr. Stockman reminded the listeners that many things have traveled to the network – airline tickets, newspapers and other physical matters are replaced by full value online analogs. The same rule might be applicable to currencies and money. He is really frightened by the idea of interference of the government. Unprepared stepping in might lead to the elimination of the industry and termination of creation of new working places.
The public was surprised that he as a congressman understands these points, but his colleagues – do not. On the contrary, the politician took cognizance of fact that electorate on their own will vote for people to make more restrictions, not to receive a higher level of freedom and liberty. After his beliefs, the authorities feel frightened by libertarian ideas, as they are against the basic nature of power. He points out that
“If You make an analysis of the world – the free countries are the richest!”
He cannot understand why people capable of making better choices for themselves elect people and place them in Washington, so they can make decision at a fair distance.
Mr. Stockman also allowed himself to give an advice to the Bitcoin society and other enthusiasts. Does not matter what kind of question or problem is considered - make a survey and send it to the congressmen. It is better to criticize something you know about. He believes in communication – the congressman are ordinary people, eating, sleeping, “they are not evil people, there some evil people, but they are normal people”. The Texan also thinks that the more you ask the better; communication with surveys might push forward ideas.
“Do not criticize [the authorities], if you have not asked them”.
The will of people to involve authorities in all possible questions also seems to the congressman unnatural. He knows people, who want the government to interfere to receive positive results, financing, advantageous decisions, but are not ready that the persons in charge are going to dig the matter, get interested and sometimes draw different conclusions and make unpredicted offers.
Also, during his speech he has compared the situation around Bitcoin with music industry some years ago – before Steve Jobs created iTunes. He believes that it reduced the amount of pirates on the global web. It is almost the only point that was argued by the interviewers. The experts of the industry, as well as statistics, see the situation from a different angle. Even if people download music illegally, they do it to obtain tracks not provided otherwise or complicated to purchase. The ones that are called the pirates spend more money on music than the rest of the society.
“The perception of threat will dictate action” - is the principle of the congressman.
The Federal Reserve lost billions; there is a necessity to publish open reports for the society. He demands feedback on the spending to protect the free market. But Bitcoin has to be treated differently:
“Allow to be free, allow to be developed.”
This is his slogan. He believes that if the government has had interfered in the Internet development, the global web would not exist in the present form. He sees no problem in the capability of an individual to take his online wallet and leave the country with all his funds. It is his right to move around with his money. This opportunity cannot be prohibited, it has to be expanded. The ability to withdraw all the savings from a jurisdiction does not harm the economy, the more wealth around the world the more free nations.
At the end of the conversation the namesake of Jobs has once again compared the present happenings to the witnessing of history similar to observing the Apple founder creating the concept of the mobile devices at his garage. Mr. Stockman is grateful for the opportunity to collect very interesting opinions from other attendants of the Bitcoin center, as they would help in his future work.
Finally, the congressman has applied to the community to make donations with Bitcoin for his 2014 campaign and assured all his listeners that he reads all the comments left for him. It is a really surprising openness from an experienced politician!
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