US congressman Patrick McHenry was a guest at CNBC’s Squawk Box where he weighed in on Facebook’s Libra and bitcoin following Libra’s hearing before the Senate at Capitol Hill. Patrick presently represents the 10th District of North Carolina and is also a ranking member of the Financial Services Committee.
Speaking on Facebook’s Libra, Peter affirmed that he is a “friend of innovation” saying that he believes that Libra development should not be smothered as long as it complies with all the required regulations. He added saying that the current scrutiny on Libra is crucial to make sure that only legit companies are allowed in operation, referring to this kind of scrutiny as an act of “getting out the weeds”.
You Can’t Kill Bitcoin
Andrew Ross Sorkin, one of the hosts of Squawk Box asked Patrick whether he believes that in the long-term, regulators and politicians will possibly allow the emergence of new types of currencies if they do not follow the current regulations governing fiat. Patrick was quick to respond saying ‘there’s no capacity to kill bitcoin”.
“I think there’s no capacity to kill bitcoin. Even the Chinese with their firewall and their extreme intervention on their society cannot kill bitcoin. So, a distributed ledger, full and open, in the essence of bitcoin, as a first mover in this space, the developer of this technology of blockchain technology… My point here is, you can’t kill bitcoin,” said McHenry.
Bitcoin’s Fate If Regulators Directly Scrutinized It
Andrew attributed the recent bitcoin price plunge to the ongoing scrutiny on Libra. He then asked Rep Patrick what would happen to bitcoin if regulators and congress intensified their scrutiny on bitcoin, allowing it to only operate in the “shadows” and not in the “mainstream”.
He responded by citing the impressive progress that bitcoin has made in the past. He expressed, “You’re talking about something that was a joke 10 years ago that people were giving away for free, well, not a joke, but people were giving out for free and is now trading at $10,000.”
New Iterations Trying To Mimic Bitcoin
Patrick noted that there are some projects mimicking bitcoin. He opined, “The essence of bitcoin is what Libra and Facebook and corporates are trying to mimic.” He added that he was more interested in understanding the nature of Libra’s technology, not just its Whitepaper.
Patrick said, “New iterations of this, that are trying to mimic, they are not fully distributed, they are not fully open, there are different mechanisms to kill it.” He added, “The idea of killing off new iterations, of what is mimicking bitcoin and blockchain technology, you can kill off something that’s not a true open distributed ledger, but something that’s closed in, that’s basically a commodity or a security depending on how it’s gonna be traded and utilized, those are different elements.”