News from Representative Tom Emmer

“I think the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government. The one thing that’s missing, but that will soon be developed, is reliable e-cash, a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B, without A knowing B or B knowing A.” 

- Milton Freidman, 1999

Dear Friend,

More and more, we are hearing about a new kind of technology that is quickly gaining both in value and popularity – digital currency. One of the best known digital currencies is Bitcoin, which was created in 2008 as an electronic payment system. 

Today, the Bitcoin economy is larger than the economies of some of the world’s smaller nations. At its peak, a bitcoin was valued at over $17,000. There are many ways in which it differs from traditional currencies, like the dollar or the euro. Namely, that it is decentralized – no single institution controls the Bitcoin network. Furthermore, it eliminates intermediaries while remaining traceable and the smallest unit of a bitcoin is one hundred millionth – significantly smaller than the radio of a penny to a U.S. dollar.

Blockchain, or the underlying technology behind Bitcoin, is remarkably innovative and may prove to be a groundbreaking advancement across many industries. However, it also has been used for illicit and criminal behavior. Finding the right balance between allowing these technologies to flourish and ensuring that no consumer is harmed is a delicate one. 

We are still at an early age for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology which, like the internet, will need a narrowly tailored regulatory system to thrive. That’s why I joined the Blockchain Caucus in Congress to make sure we strike that balance.

To that end, last week, along with both chairs of the Blockchain Caucus, I sent a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to thank the SEC for their light-touch approach to cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). We also urged both agencies to remember any proposed legislation they may bring before Congress should be simple and straightforward, encouraging future innovations to take place in the United States. 

Read the letter here.

As we move forward, your voice on this emerging and growing technology is important to me.

What do you think of Bitcoin? Share your thoughts by emailing me here and be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for more updates on blockchain technologies and other important issues in Washington.


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