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Ted Cruz says Senate can’t regulate crypto without knowing ‘what in the hell’ it is

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Ted Cruz is lashing out at fellow senators amid a debate over tax enforcement requirements for crypto transactions — blasting his colleagues for trying to regulate without enough knowledge to define “what in the hell a cryptocurrency is.”

The Texas Republican slammed his counterparts on the Senate floor on Monday as he pushed to remove what he says are “harmful regulations” on the cryptocurrency industry that are included in the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Cruz argued it was wrong to regulate something they didn’t yet understand as the Biden administration supports a push to make cryptocurrency brokers disclose user transactions.

Critics argue that such regulations will ultimately kill the digital currency industry in the US.

“Let’s exercise a brief shining moment of common sense,” Cruz told the Senate on Monday.

Sen. Ted Cruz argued against the regulation of cryptocurrency, saying it's not something that is not yet fully understood.
Sen. Ted Cruz argued against the regulation of cryptocurrency, saying it’s not something that is yet fully understood.
C-SPAN

“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.

“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 to understand that. We should hold some hearings, we should consider the consequences.

“We shouldn’t destroy people’s lives and livelihoods from complete ignorance.”

He added that the US shouldn’t be sending cryptocurrencies overseas to competitors because they had made it “impossible for them to succeed here.”

Representation of Bitcoin
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said a cryptocurrency-related amendment “will make meaningful progress on tax evasion.”
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Senators have spent the past week processing nearly two dozen amendments to the 2,700-page, $1 trillion package, but so far none has substantially changed its framework.

The remaining issue of tax compliance for cryptocurrency brokers appeared close to being resolved after senators announced they had worked with the Treasury Department to clarify the intent.

But an effort to quickly adopt the cryptocurrency compromise was derailed by senators who wanted their own amendments.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said earlier Monday that a cryptocurrency-related amendment in the Senate’s pending infrastructure bill “will make meaningful progress on tax evasion.”

With Post wires

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