A US Congressman has proposed a ban on the American dollar to mock colleagues who are campaigning against Bitcoin.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) said the American dollar bill, much like the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, was "unregulated and unstable," and had been used for illicit criminal activity.
Polis, a former web entrepreneur representing the tech-heavy Boulder area, issued an open letter Wednesday as a send-up of the letter filed last month by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who asked US regulators to consider a ban on Bitcoin.
Today's letter, a deadpan parody of Democrat Manchin's proposal, suggests that like Bitcoin the dollar is a favored method of payment for criminals and can leave its users vulnerable to fraud and forgery.
"Dollar bills have gained notoriety in relation to illegal transactions; suitcases full of dollars used for illegal transactions were recently featured in popular movies such as American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club, as well as the gangster classic, Scarface, among others," Polis wrote.
"The United States’ Dollar was present by the truck load in Saddam Hussein's compound, by the carload when Noriega was arrested for drug trafficking, and by the suitcase full in the Watergate case.
"The clear use of dollar bills for transacting in illegal goods, anonymous transactions, tax fraud, and services or speculative gambling make me wary of their use. Before the United States gets too far behind the curve on this important topic, I urge the regulators to work together, act quickly, and prohibit this dangerous currency from harming hard-working Americans."
The letter, of course, mocks Manchin's campaign against Bitcoin. Polis' comments reflect the sentiments of many Bitcoin backers, who have argued that the digital currency, properly managed, is no more dangerous or unstable than its fiat counterparts.
Last week, Manchin argued that the cryptocurrency constituted a danger to the public and as such should be reined in by the Federal Reserve and other institutions. A day after sending the letter he put forth the idea to Fed Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, who poured cold water on the idea by pointing out that her office lacked the authority to impose any restrictions on Bitcoin. ®