March 1, 2024

This is an opinion editorial by Level39, a researcher focused on Bitcoin, technology, history, ethics and energy.

On December 14, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs received inaccurate testimony regarding Bitcoin from actor Ben McKenzie and Professor Hillary J. Allen. The hearing, entitled “Crypto Crash: Why the FTX Bubble Burst and Harm to Consumers,” had all the markings of political theater and provided a stage to misinform senators and the public. It coincided with Elizabeth Warren’s new financial surveillance bill, which is a disaster for privacy and civil liberties. On December 18, the Senate Banking Committee Chair Senator Sherrod Brown divulged on “Meet The Press” that the hearing was intended to “educate the public” on the dangers of cryptocurrencies and floated the idea of banning them altogether.

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