GOP leader Kevin McCarthy talked about bitcoin in an interview with CNBC last week. Congressman McCarthy serves California’s 23rd district and is currently the Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He was asked specifically if he thinks that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell have a good understanding of digital currencies or bitcoin given their recent comments and what advice he has for them.
A longtime proponent of bitcoin, McCarthy said in July 2019, “I like bitcoin” and the security of the blockchain technology behind it. Reiterating his view on bitcoin back in 2019, the congressman replied, “I was right then and I’m right now,” elaborating:
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a “fraud” that is “worse than tulip bulbs” in 2017. His bank has come a long way since then. Today, JPMorgan says it sees massive institutional demand for bitcoin and has launched a crypto investment product tracking public companies with bitcoin exposure.
Federal Reserve Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary have not warmed up to bitcoin. Powell said last week that cryptocurrencies are “vehicles for speculation.” He claimed that “They’re not really being actively used as payment,” despite a growing list of companies accepting them for payment, including Elon Musk’s Tesla. Treasury Secretary Yellen shares a similar sentiment. She called bitcoin was a “highly speculative asset” in February, asserting that it was not “widely used as a transmission mechanism” and was an “extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions.” Yellen also warned that the misuse of cryptocurrencies is a growing problem, noting that cryptocurrencies are mainly used for illicit financing.
McCarthy additionally said during last week’s interview that regarding bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, Treasury Secretary Yellen and Fed Chair Powell “should not only learn more about it but the basis is going to continue to grow.” He further opined:
The congressman emphasized that “other countries are moving forward” in the area of digital currencies. “I do not want America to fall behind. I want the next century to be ours. That’s why I want to look forward, not backward, and not keep my head in the sand,” the lawmaker concluded.
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