back to article US senators seek input on their cryptocurrency law via GitHub – and get some

The two US senators behind a proposed law to bring order to cryptocurrency finance have published their legislation to Microsoft's GitHub to obtain input from the unruly public. The bill, known as the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, was introduced by Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on June 7 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking as a person "represented" (in name only) by Lummis, My experience is that anything she says is, at best a pile of horse shit. More likely, it (yet another) attempt to enrich herself at the cost of, well, everyone else. The immediate closing of the github issue on conflict of interest is proof of that.

    I am so sick of this.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like Bernie Madoff "Digital Asset"

    It's a ponzi scheme, no different than Bernie Madoff was pushing. It doesn't need regulation, it needs prosecution.

    Do you think if Madoff had wrapped his fund in a blockchain, that somehow it was anyless of a Ponzi scheme? Why?

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Like Bernie Madoff "Digital Asset"

      Actually, crypto is quite different than Madoff's classic Ponzi scheme. Don't get me wrong. Cryptocurrency is an RBI (Really Bad Idea). But a Ponzi scheme it is not.

      My understanding is that what Bernie Madoff did was to claim he had developed a sophisticated investment strategy involving using futures contracts to leverage mundane investments in S&P 500 stocks thereby achieving much higher yields than simply buying and selling the same stocks would yield. The scheme was exceedingly complex. So much so that no one understood it. It probably wouldn't have worked. Didn't matter. Madoff skipped that messy investment step. Buying and selling stock is risky. A man could lose money that way. Instead, he simply paid out "dividends" and withdrawals using money from the incoming investment stream and the existing capital pool.

      That's illegal because it can rip off even relatively cautious investors.

      Crypto mongers OTOH are quite open about how their business works. You print your own money and "investors" line up to exchange stuff with real world value for your freshly minted notes. But that's nuts? People would have to be crazy to exchange real assets for monopoly money?

      Yep. Nobody said the world wasn't full of crazy people.

      Crypto is really quite odd. And it's probably imploding. But it's nature is not misrepresented. And it's not illegal (except in China).

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Well, there is one point that makes it ressemble a Ponzi scheme : those who get in first are the most likely to make big wins when the hoi-polloi come rushing in.

        Bitcoin, however, is no longer a Ponzi scheme. It's become a crapshoot.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          "Well, there is one point that makes it ressemble a Ponzi scheme : those who get in first are the most likely to make big wins when the hoi-polloi come rushing in."

          That is, however, true of lots of legal things, including every bubble in history and many successful investments. "Ponzi scheme" is a very specific kind of thing, and a lot of people who don't like cryptocurrency haven't bothered to figure out what it is. Just as a lot of enthusiasts of cryptocurrency also haven't bothered to figure out how their thing works, leading them to similar levels of foolishness. Definitions matter, and cryptocurrencies, even the mindnumbingly stupid ones, tend not to be Ponzi schemes. What makes this worse is that there are a small number of things that claim to be cryptocurrencies and are actually Ponzi schemes, and constant misuse of the term can confuse people into thinking that someone is merely a detractor rather than making an important and provable claim.

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Like Bernie Madoff "Digital Asset"

        If you are talking about Bitcoin, Ethereum and stuff like that, then yes. But the De-centralised finance organisations that promise 20% return per day or whatever, those are straight-up Ponzi schemes.

  3. DS999 Silver badge

    Don't regulate them

    Let anyone dumb enough to invest in them burn in the fires of their own ignorance. If you regulate it, it will lend legitimacy to it, and the next time it crashes people will be calling for a government bailout to save them from their own mistakes.

  4. Ian 55

    "What's the worst that could happen?"

    Given that cryptocurrency is a never ending series of people finding that out, it's apt that this hasn't gone so well either.

  5. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Countering symptoms rather than the cause

    The problem is many people are ignorant enough to fall for Ponzi schemes. If some magical law were created that prevented fools from being separated from their money by this scheme then a new scheme would be created. There are two solutions: I propose teaching critical thinking in schools to reduce the quantity of fools. A more politically and religiously acceptable solution is to ban education so fools do not have money in the first place.

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Countering symptoms rather than the cause

      But if critical thinking was taught in schools, people might stop voting blindly for team Blue or team Red, and that might actually start holding politicians to account for their lies.

      We can't have that now, can we?

      1. EricB123 Bronze badge

        Re: Countering symptoms rather than the cause

        I say let it rot.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Countering symptoms rather than the cause

      Now, now. Don't go give Trump any ideas like that.

    3. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      Re: Countering symptoms rather than the cause

      They are taught "The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States" every day from their first school day.

      And if you don't comply they will call the "school police officer" since you are a "disturbance", and you, as a six year old kid, are put into solitary confinement. I.e. you are forced to be in a different room for detention, forced to sit at a table which is build so you cannot see any other pupil in that room, and being verbally tortured by a "teacher" in the best Full Metal Jacket style, and write whatever the teach says. That Simpsons thing Bart does in every opening is not a joke, though he doesn't have to sit at those solitary confinement tables.

      We, as German, remember when this was common in Germany. And ISIS ISS and all the other fanatics follow the same logic as US schools do.

      (Source: Various "American living in <any EU country>" youtube channels)

    4. veti Silver badge

      Re: Countering symptoms rather than the cause

      "I propose teaching critical thinking in schools" - yeah, you and every philosopher since Plato.

      If it hasn't happened yet, there's probably a reason for that. And unless you can identify and address that reason, you've got nothing.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Well said

    "[The Bitcoin] ecosystem is a collection of Rube Goldberg devices designed for the express purpose of making compliance with tax, anti-money laundering, disclosure, liability, and other laws difficult if not impossible. Full stop. There is no baby to throw out with this bath water."

    I'll have to remember that one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well said

      Last but not least, ransomware wouldn't be the industry it is today without cryptocurrency to lubricate its wheels. If that doesn't shut down the idea of crimping crypto ...

  7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The legislators must be in a race to get legislation on the books whilst there's still cryptocurrency to regulate.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      It’s too late for regulations.

      The principle of Bitcoin is that money paid out equals money paid in, minus losses from the cost of producing, buying and selling Bitcoin, minus the cost of outright fraud. That’s the simple math, and there is no way to get around it.

      So by protecting future victims you just punish the ones who are already victimised.

  8. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    How conventient

    For a legislator holding coin to propose legislation to increase the legitimacy of coin! Nice work, if you can get it.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like