In an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Montana farmer-teacher-turned-US Senator Jon Tester told host Chuck Todd that cryptocurrency “hasn’t been able to pass the sniff test for me.”
The Democratic senator, who sits on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, was a guest on the show to discuss the defection of former Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
“You used colorful language to describe cryptocurrency,” Todd asked as he the segment It ended. “Should the government regulate or ban it?”
“One or the other,” Tester replied.
“I haven’t been able to find anyone who has been able to explain to me what’s there apart from the synthetics, which doesn’t mean anything,” he continued. “The problem is… if we regulate it, it can give people the ability to think it’s real.”
“I’m not a regulator and I’m not a financial person who regulates,” Tester denied, but concluded his thoughts on cryptocurrency by saying, “I don’t see any reason why this should exist. I really don’t.”
While Tester says he is not a regulator, his role on the Senate banking committee means he has influence as part of one of the key decision-making bodies currently debating how, if not whether, to regulate the currently beleaguered crypto industry.
“Senator Tester brings a rural perspective to this committee to make sure laws and policies work for small banks, credit unions, small businesses, and consumers in rural America,” his website reads.
Senator Tester has not been shy about his distaste for cryptocurrencies, saying traffic light In the past week“Everything is bullshit.”
Meanwhile, following the US midterm elections, Democratic senators regrouped on the banking committee agenda. According to a role call reportparty leaders were skeptical of the proposed Digital Commodity Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA), which would make the CFTC, rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission or other agencies, the Lead Authority for US Crypto Regulation.
Also known as the Stabenow–Boozman BillThe movement to empower the CFTC was notably supported by Sam Bankman-Fried, who has since become an international pariah when his FTX stock exchange and trading firm Alameda Research collapsed spectacularly.
According to role callSenator Tester warned against giving cryptocurrencies additional legitimacy and took issue with the fact that the Stabenow-Boozman bill was introduced in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, where Arkansas Republican Senator John Boozman, he serves as a senior member.
“It is necessary to do it in this committee, not [agriculture]so CFTC is a ‘no,'” Tester said.
In 2019, Senator Tester was also main critic of Libra, Facebook’s failed cryptocurrency initiative. At the time, he likened the threat of inadequate controls on crypto to the financial crisis of 2008.
“In 2008 there was a run on the banks, there were some big companies that failed, including 157 banks, Lehman Brothers, WAMU, Bear Sterns and others,” he said at the time. “Nobody anticipated there was going to be a streak like this, nobody.”
He questioned whether Facebook could avoid a similar collapse.
“I still felt confident that my money was safe [in 2008]he said. “How can you assure us, how can we be sure that our money is going to be there?”
Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.