Web2 Pundits Advocate Against Crypto-Influence in Washington

Counter-lobbying by a group of engineers has submitted a letter to US politicians claiming crypto is a national security risk.

Lawmakers in the United States have been urged to “fight the pressure” of crypto investors and lobbyists by a group of 26 engineers, including some of the most vehement detractors of crypto.

The first concerted effort to counter-lobby the crypto business in Washington has been made by a collection of well-known technology commentators and academics.

There are 26 signatories to the letter arguing that blockchain technology has “few, if any, real-economic applications,” and that crypto assets have significant negative externalities, including dangers to national security, financial stability issues, and enormous carbon emissions.

Sent to the majority and minority leaders of both houses of the U.S. Senate, as well as numerous other influential senators, the letter stated:

It is our hope that you will not succumb to pressure from digital asset industry supporters to create a regulatory safe haven for these risky, flaw-ridden and unproven digital financial instruments and instead take an approach that protects the public interest and ensures that technology is implemented in genuine service to the needs of ordinary citizens.”

Blockchain-based financial products are “disasters for privacy,” according to the signatories, except when they aren’t, which is a “gift for money-launderers.” When the appropriate data is examined, the claims that crypto assets are being utilised disproportionately for illegal purposes may have little substance. According to Chainalysis’s 2022 study, just 0.05 percent of all bitcoin transactions in 2021 were used for money laundering. Between $800 billion and $2 trillion in fiat cash is laundered each year by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, which is around 5% of the world GDP.

In an interview with the Financial Times, one of the most vocal detractors of cryptocurrency on Twitter, Diehl, said that the letter is aimed at “counter-lobbying” those in the crypto business who “say what they want to the lawmakers.” Miguel de Icaza, a former Microsoft engineer, said that the crypto sector is “wasting millions of dollars worth of technology because we’ve chosen that we don’t trust the banking system.

Bloomberg reported in March that the crypto business spent $9 million on lobbying in 2021, which is more than three times what it spent the year before.

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