During the March 14th U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee hearing on crypto, Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) read an introductory statement alleging that “cryptocurrencies are a crock.” It won him no fans in the cryptoverse. Curiously, though, Rep. Sherman’s biggest source of political donations in the current election cycle has come from individuals at Allied Wallet, a non-crypto payment processor.
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Sherman: Bitcoin Has ‘No Social Benefit’
As Rep. Sherman spoke fast and clumsily at the beginning of his introductory remarks, it’s difficult to tell whether his most infamous statements during the March 14th crypto hearing were on behalf of, or in the stead of, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY).
Nevertheless, Rep. Sherman’s first read statements caught the attention of the cryptoverse because of their apparent harshness. The California congressman called cryptocurrencies “a crock” that “allow a few dozen men in my district to sit in their pajamas on the couch all day and tell their wives they’re going to be millionaires.”
Ouch. And that was just Rep. Sherman getting started. He later went on to directly assert that cryptocurrencies “hurt the U.S. government.”
But, in light of Rep. Sherman’s leading contributors in the midst of the 2017-2018 election cycle, maybe it’s Allied Wallet that’s really the object of “hurt.”
Help Us Congressman, You’re Our Only Hope?
Courtesy of OpenSecrets.org, if you check Rep. Sherman’s profile summary, you’ll see that his largest source of money in the ongoing election cycle comes from individuals affiliated with Allied Wallet.
Allied Wallet is a self-described “global payment gateway” that lets users digitally accept and transact in 164 different fiat currencies.
In other words, it’s precisely the kind of business model that Bank of America recently noted could be disrupted by cryptocurrencies.
So whether it’s a coincidence that Rep. Sherman bashed crypto or if his remarks were influenced by his donors, we don’t know for sure. But the cryptocurrency space is watching Capitol Hill closely, and the apparent irony isn’t lost on its denizens.
What’s your take? Do you think Sherman’s statements represented a partisan stance toward cryptocurrencies? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via OpenSecrets, Granite Grok, Allied Wallet