Should cryptocurrencies ever be regulated? Should the fundamental premise of the underlying technology be altered? Texan Republican Representative, Phil Stephenson definitely thinks so as he is set to implement a bill-draft that would make it illegal for users to engage in crypto based activities with proper registering and verification.
If the bill is passed, in order to deal in and own Bitcoin, for instance, one would need to identify themselves to some form of regulatory body or authority. As per the new proposed bill titled, H.B. No. 4371, since there are a considerable amount of leeway for anonymous groups or individuals to engage in financial and cyber crime and fraud via blockchain based asset platforms, there is a dire need to monitor and control the cryptoverse.
Therefore, Rep. Stephenson wants the state of Texas to not only inform and educate their law enforcement regarding the apparent dangers of blockchain technology but also to promote and implement a law that only encourages and benefits verified digital identities.
According to some excerpts from the bill draft, both senders and receivers would be engaging in an illegal act if their crypto transaction is unverified and anonymous.
Before accepting payment by a digital currency, a person must verify the identity of the person sending payment. A person is not required to verify the identify of a person sending payment if the payment is sent by a verified identity digital currency.
And the Texan rep is quite adamant about enforcing this rule as the draft further elaborates that institutions in the state will not entertain unverified users,
This state may not use a digital currency that is not a verified identity digital currency
Providing some insight on the matter is prominent crypto advocate, Andreas Antonopoulos. In a 2016 YouTube video, he had this to say about possible Bitcoin regulations, “Bitcoin is not a physical thing, it does not live in a specific border and it does not care about these regulations.”
Further elaborating this claim, Antonopoulos said that in order for any regulatory body to actually control a crypto like Bitcoin, the only way to achieve that would be to get their own developers to make their own version of the popular token and then advertise it to the world. However, since nothing is really wrong with the original technology in terms of the freedom and anonymity it offers, no one in their right mind would go for a centralized version. Which in it’s essence is an oxymoron.