U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren criticized Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies yesterday in a Banking Senate Subcommittee hearing. In the hearing, Warren criticized the energy consumption that Bitcoin and other proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrencies need to operate. Warren also thinks cryptocurrencies are the “wild west” of investments and called for a regulatory crackdown on the industry. Some on social media were quick to bite back, however, pointing out Warren’s flawed logic and perceived hypocrisy.
Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes on Bitcoin
Senator Elizabeth Warren declared her opinion on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies yesterday in a senate subcommittee hearing. The hearing, titled “Building a stronger Financial System: Opportunities of a central bank digital currency,” served as an opportunity to criticize Bitcoin’s energy consumption and its usage in criminal activities. Warren quickly stated how Bitcoin needed too much energy to settle even one transaction, stressing that:
A single Bitcoin transaction uses more energy than a typical US household in a month. I think the estimate is 53 days.
But Warren’s critical viewpoint of Bitcoin doesn’t end there. The former Democrat presidential candidate also thinks bitcoin as an investment vehicle is flawed. In an interview on Bloomberg TV, Warren explained Bitcoin was very volatile, being like the “wild west” of investments. She declared:
If you were buying stock for speculation you’d be protected from pump and dumps, but not when you are buying Bitcoin; we need to talk with the SEC about that.
To Warren, cryptocurrencies are also a tool for criminals to be used in ransomware attacks. An example of this is what happened with the Colonial Pipeline’s system hijack. As a consequence, she is calling for a stricter regulatory oversight on the system. Regarding this call for clampdown, Warren stated:
Our regulators and congress are an hour late and a dollar short. We need to catch up with where cryptocurrencies are going.