After issuing a bill that would protect bitcoin U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) gave a speech at the New York City Bitcoin Center. He issued a rallying cry encouraging the room to get involved and lobby for bitcoin.
“This is a small venue right now. But eventually, if the government stays out of it, this thing can take off globally,” he said. Throughout the speech he warned of the government's power. In his eyes, restrictive policies could crush the fledgling technology. He called the government its biggest threat.
Stockman said he's trying to do his part by throwing a wrench into the cryptocurrency legislative landscape with his new bill. Cointelegraph reported earlier this week that the Cryptocurrency Protocol Protection and Moratorium Act (CryptPMA), will place a five-year moratorium on nation-wide legislation and declares Bitcoin currency rather than property.
The congressman argued that banks and commercial lobbyists hold too much sway over U.S. politics. Politicians are beholden to special interest groups. He acknowledged that, in that regard, it might appear strange that he's championing a digital tool that could potentially threaten colossal financial institutions. “Why is someone like me threatening someone that's right down the street here …that's operating in this big commercial industry?” he said waving at Wall Street. But he wants to help.
Of course, part of the problem is that many in the industry don't think Bitcoin's advantages outweigh its disadvantages or simply don't have a firm grasp of the currency, as evidenced in recent video produced by Mastercard. The spokesman, CEO of Mastercard SE Asia Matthew Driver called cryptocurrencies “suspicious” and argued that the currencies don't serve a clear purpose.
But Stockman thinks things can change. He argued that getting involved in politics is essential and told the crowd to join together and fight it. “I can do a little bit for you,” he said in reference to the bill. But he can't do everything by himself.
The Texan congressman accepted donations for a failed senate run, even before the donations were approved by the Federal Election Commission. He is a Ronald Reagan fan, who is considered to be in the libertarian wing of the Republican party championing smaller government.
He also emphasized that if passed, it will prevent federal regulation, stop taxation, and let cryptocurrency bloom unhindered for five years:
“This is the leave us the hell alone bill. Don’t step on the seed. Don't step on the little tiny plant while it's starting out.”
Right now, Stockman's bill is not co-sponsored by anyone and many people claim the bill will die in committee. But in Stockman's eyes, peering into the room of fervent Bitcoin aficionados, this bill is only the beginning for political change:
“This country is in dire need of freedom. We have more and more intrusion of our smartphones. We have intrusion of the Internet. And everybody can swipe your personal information now.
“I hope that you all will lobby for the freedom that you need.”
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