Congress savaged Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra during a two-day Congressional hearing this week. But Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) saved the best, and most brutal, comment for the end:
“There’s bitcoin, and then there’s shitcoin.”
His statement reveals something important. There is hidden support for bitcoin among ranking members of Congress.
Davidson joins other members of Congress who publicly praised bitcoin over the last two days.
“There’s no capacity to kill bitcoin”
Davidson’s comments weren’t the only pro-bitcoin statements in Congress yesterday. Ranking member of the Financial Services Committee Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) praised bitcoin’s creator:
“The world that Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the bitcoin white paper, envisioned is an unstoppable force. We should not attempt to deter this innovation … those who have tried have already failed.”
It came after McHenry said there’s “no capacity to kill bitcoin” in a CNBC interview before the hearing. A day earlier, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declared “I like bitcoin.”
This hearing has forced members of Congress that hold private support for bitcoin to passionately defend it in front of their peers and the country.
Bitcoin comes out the winner in Congress
As I wrote yesterday, there’s a lightbulb moment happening on Capitol Hill. The more Congress learns about Facebook’s Libra, the more they differentiate it from Bitcoin.
Part of the credit for this lies with Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer at CoinShares, who testified at the House Financial Services Committee hearing. She passionately explained:
“Libra is not a cryptocurrency … I want to distinguish and draw a very clear line.”
Below is the full exchange between Congressman Warren Davidson and Demirors, in which she differentiates between bitcoin and shitcoins:
Davidson: “A lot of people in this space will use a phrase that you may be familiar with. There’s bitcoin and then there’s shitcoin. Are you familiar with that phrase and what people might mean by that?”
Demirors: “Bitcoin has had a long track record. the network has been operating for ten years. the bitcoin network has been tested. The decentralized nature of the bitcoin protocol has been tested. People have tried to co-opt control of the bitcoin source code and push it in certain directions that benefit their business models. This network and this protocol and its open source governance has withstood that test. It is robust, it has been tested.”
Davidson: “Is there a central authority that can dilute the value of bitcoin?”
Davidson: “Is there a central authority that can filter transactions of bitcoin?”
Demirors: “No, that can only be done through the products and services that people utilize to access the network.”
Davidson: “Like Coinbase?”