Congressman says we should be banned from mining, using cryptocurrency

Congressman Brad Sherman, D-California, believes the government should prohibit U.S. citizens from mining and using cryptocurrencies. He made the statement during the Wednesday, July 19, hearing of a subcommittee for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, adding that as a medium of exchange, cryptocurrencies accomplish nothing except facilitating narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and tax evasion.

“Some of its supporters delight in that if you can disempower the U.S. government from being able to prevent terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and tax evasion, you have somehow struck a blow for liberty,” he said during a five-minute statement. “That is reason enough to ban it.”

Part of his argument is that mining alone requires large amounts of power that takes away from other needs and/or adds to the current power footprint. Its role as an investment is also deemed “bad” as instead of gambling in Las Vegas — which in turn feeds casinos, restaurants, and hotels that pay high local taxes — “animal spirits” are gambling on virtual coins, helping to create a market for tax evaders, terrorists, and so on.

congressman wants cryptocurrency banned in america brad sherman

That said, he believes these gamblers should invest in risky stock instead. More importantly, if U.S. citizens purchase cryptocurrencies, investor protection needs to be in place as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission suggested in March. He went on to add that any person or firm selling stocks, bonds, or any other investment should be charged with fraud and incarcerated for issuing crypto-offering memoranda and crypto-registrations.

“The money that we make as a country because we’re the reserve currency, because we can issue a greenback that does not yield interest, there are people who are alive today because of the profits the U.S. government makes on that whether it be to fund our defense or medical research,” he concluded. “All of that gets diminished with cryptocurrency.”

But Norbert Michel, director for the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation and one of four on the panel, argued against the notion to ban cryptocurrency. Sure, criminals use Bitcoin, but they also use other tools for their devious deeds such as airplanes, computers, and automobiles. We don’t criminalize those tools simply because they’re used by criminals. Why is cryptocurrency any different?

More importantly, cash is still the most-used currency across North America. But U.S. citizens also use a form of digital currency: Electronic payments. For instance, a worker could get a direct deposit into his bank, never seeing cash or a physical check. He then purchases goods from Amazon with his bank card, again not using physical money. Cryptocurrency is just a new form of electronic payment that should be embraced and treated like any other form of payment.

Also brought up during the hearing was the idea of central banks issuing their own digital currency. Alex Pollock from the R Street Institute refuted the idea, as these banks would compete directly with the Federal Reserve. Having central banks issue digital currencies is “one of the worst financial ideas of recent times,” he said.

Gaming

Federal judge puts the brakes on ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ mod that allowed cheats

The GTA series brought us the lawlessness of Los Santos, but U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton handed down an injunction against David Zipperer of Georgia, maker of the Menyoo and Absolute mods.
Computing

The browser-based Monero miner Coinhive generates around $250,000 each month

Despite a fall in cryptocurrency mining, the Coinhive Monero miner is still highly active, generating around $250,000 each month. Coinhive also contributes 1.18 percent of the total mining power behind the Monero blockchain.
Computing

Researchers hack John McAfee’s ‘unhackable’ Bitfi cryptocurrency wallet

Researchers have successfully hacked John McAfee's Bitfi cryptocurrency wallet. Researchers show that the device can be hacked, as they have gained access to the device's private keys and passphrase despite McAfee's security promotion.
Mobile

Police bust a massive interstate SIM card hijacking ring

Law enforcement agents in Flordia and several other states have worked together to break up an interstate cybercrime ring that used hijacked SIM cards to steal cryptocurrencies and cash from victims.
Computing

Arm’s future CPU designs may finally catch up with Intel in laptops by 2020

Arm publicly revealed its CPU road map for the first time, covering designs to be released through 2020. Typically disclosed under an NDA, Arm revealed its plans to show how its CPU designs will advance the always-on laptop.
Photography

Color grading pushes Pinnacle Studio 22 toward more pro video editing features

Designed for videographers that aren't pros but aren't basic users either, Pinnacle Studio 22 expands its advanced tools with color grading and four-point editing. The updates bring more advanced tools to the platform.
Computing

Is your PC safe? Foreshadow is the security flaw Intel should have predicted

Three new processor vulnerabilities have appeared under the 'Foreshadow' banner. They're similar in nature to Meltdown and Spectre, only they steal data from different memory spaces. Here's everything you need to know.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Computing

Australian student hacks into Apple, steals 90GB of data because he’s a ‘fan’

A 16-year-old student in Australia broke into Apple’s network multiple times for an entire year to download 90GB of “secure” data and access customer accounts. He did this because he was a "fan."
Web

Google claims censored search in China is ‘not close’ as employees protest

Google CEO, Sundar Pinchai, has promised employees that the company is "not close" to releasing a censored search product in China, despite claims that it was working on such a project.
Web

Adobe Spark Page makes web design easy — here’s how to use it

Using artificial intelligence and simple tools, Adobe Spark Page is designed for easy web page design. Here's how to use Adobe Spark Page to create a travel journal, event page or any other one-page website.
Deals

Best Buy drops the price of MacBooks for its anniversary sale

It's not every day you see a MacBook sale like this, so you'll definitely want to consider these savings -- especially if you're a student. Students can save an additional $150 just by signing up for Best Buy student deals.
Deals

Walmart Back to College sale: Save big on computers, TVs, tablets, and more

Walmart's Back to College sale is your chance to score big discounts on name-brand electronics, so whether you're getting ahead of the new school year or just doing some shopping, we've picked out the best deals that can save you hundreds…
Computing

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 chip appears in benchmarks with improved performance

A benchmark for Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 850 processor show a less-than-stellar increase in multi-core performance over the previous 835 chip. Introduced in June, the Snapdragon 850 promises up to 30 percent better performance.