US Democrat Lawmaker Defends Crypto Mining and Innovation

A proposal by the Biden administration to impose a 30% tax on cryptocurrency mining has been met with criticism from a senior Democrat lawmaker in the United States. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Presidential hopeful, took to Twitter to express his support for crypto mining and cryptocurrency technology as a major innovation engine.

He argued that the government’s proposal for controls on cryptocurrencies and mining have political connections, citing the government’s arguments around Bitcoin’s high energy consumption as a “selective pretext” to control threats against elite power structures.

The proposed tax, called the Digital Asset Mining Energy (DAME) excise tax, aims to hold crypto companies accountable for their environmental impact. Kennedy acknowledged concerns about energy consumption involved in Bitcoin mining, but noted that it uses approximately the same amount of energy as video games do and does not face calls for regulation. He further suggested that the US economy will be more resilient if Bitcoin and other currencies are available alongside the US dollar.

Kennedy’s assertions about the criminal associations of cryptocurrencies were supported by some statistics. He stated that Bitcoin is not only used by criminals who want privacy, but also by political dissidents and regular citizens who might need to use it as governments can control bank accounts and payments.

Crypto mining has been under scrutiny by regulators worldwide, and in the US, Democrat lawmakers have often criticized and scrutinized mining activities. In March, Democratic lawmakers announced that they would reintroduce the Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act, which would mandate any crypto mining firm consuming more than 5 megawatts of power to disclose emissions for operations and require an interagency investigation of the impact of crypto mining in the United States.

Meanwhile, respective states in the US have individual stances on crypto mining legislation, with some like New York and North Carolina appearing stricter than others like Mississippi and Montana.

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