Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren did not mince words when it came to criticizing crypto, but seemed to consider a federally-backed digital currency as a possible solution to address problems around financial inclusion in the United States.
At a Wednesday session of the Senate Banking Committee discussing a U.S. government-backed central bank digital currency, or CBDC, Warren said the recent explosion in cryptocurrencies had helped many people understand the foundational technology on which digital currencies were based. However, she called crypto a “fourth rate alternative to real currency.”
“Digital currency from central banks has great promise,” said Warren. “Legitimate digital public money could help drive out bogus digital private money.”
Discussing what she labeled as “bogus” currency, Warren cited Dogecoin (DOGE) as an example of many cryptocurrencies’ volatility making them unsuitable as a medium of exchange in her opinion. She called out pump and dump schemes and other apparent efforts to manipulate the prices of certain tokens.
“Crypto is a lousy investment,” said the senator. “Unlike, say, the stock market, the crypto world currently has no consumer protection. As a result, honest investors and people trying to put aside some savings are at the mercy of fraudsters.”
The Massachusetts senator also voiced her opinion on crypto being tied to many illegal activities, all “made easier with crypto,” as well as environmental concerns over crypto mining. She cited the recent ransom by hackers who attacked the Colonial Pipeline, causing fuel shortages for many people in the United States, and claimed some mining operations were “spewing out filth in return for a chance to harvest a few crypto coins.”
“Cryptocurrency has created opportunities to scam investors, assist criminals, and worsen the climate crisis. The threats posed by crypto show that congress and federal regulators can’t continue to hide out, hoping crypto will go away. It won’t. It’s time to confront these issues head on.”