Congress is trying to figure out what to do about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KHON2) – Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become more mainstream. You can use Bitcoin to book your next vacation or to buy a cup of coffee, but they are largely unregulated.

Now Congress is debating how to handle this developing technology.

Republican Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho said Thursday, “In order to move forward in a productive way and give these innovations the room to flourish in a safe and sound way, we need to sort through the static.”

On Thursday, the senate banking committee heard from two experts with polar opposite views.  

Economist Dr. Nouriel Roubini warned against it and said, “crypto is the mother of all scams and bubbles.”

While Coin Center’s Peter Van Valkenburgh called cryptocurrencies revolutionary and said, “It will be as significant for freedom, prosperity and human flourishing as the birth of the internet.”

While critics urge Congress to crack down, advocates say any regulation should give the evolving technology room to grow. 

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown said he’s concerned about Americans who could fall victim to scams or fraud. 

He added, “We don’t have the consumer protections for cyber currency or for Bitcoin any better than we frankly have it in the real dollar financial system.”

Sen. Brown said Congress still has work to do, to better understand cryptocurrencies and protect consumers.  

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