A letter to Brad Sherman

Dear Congressman,

I am a veteran, a patriot, and a Bitcoiner. Yesterday, you called for legislation to ban cryptocurrencies in the United States. This would not only be a strategic disaster for our foreign and economic policy, but more importantly, it would cut directly against the laws and values that have propelled our great nation to its unique position in the first place.

The Bitcoin Network, like the U.S. federal government, is a system of checks and balances. It relies on freedom of choice, individual incentives, and transparency to achieve this new form of value. In the same way that our Constitution allowed the people to break free from the centralized control of monarchy, Bitcoin leverages modern communications and cryptography to grant people the power to choose their own forms of value.

The goal of Bitcoin is to build a new form of money, one that can be protected from unwarranted surveillance and seizure by any entity. This is deeply American idea, enshrined in our 4th Amendment protections under the bill of rights. Bitcoin does not disrupt the rule of law, it only helps ensure that law enforcement living up to its obligations of due process before depriving anyone of their rights. We are blessed with a legal system that is far more just than in many other parts of the world, but we can always do better. I agree that Bitcoin represents a major problem for governments that are more concerned with controlling their citizens than protecting their rights, but that is not the America that I know.

The founders said “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” was the goal of the American project. With life and liberty secured, Americans are free to ask “Why Not?”, and our history is filled with innovators who thrive on a culture that encourages pushing the envelope.

Chuck Yaegar strapped himself to a rocket, lit the fuse over the Mojave desert, and broke the sound barrier, setting the stage for America’s leadership in aviation and space exploration for decades to come.

In 1958, Chuck Berry picked up his Gibson guitar and brought an entirely new energy to American music. Johnny B. Goode brought Rock and Roll to the masses, and has shaped nearly a century of pop culture around the world. 

This spirit of innovation is uniquely American. It why our institutions from Hollywood to Wall Street dominate their competitors overseas. It is even deeply rooted in our military, where a German WWII commander in lamented that Americans were so hard to fight because we routinely ignore our own doctrine.

Bitcoin is a global project, but its values are the same ones that built this country. If we ban it, we will be sending a signal to our adversaries that we fear its power, while at the same time ceding our technical leadership to the totalitarians. More importantly though, we will stifle the creative spirit of innovation that has gotten us where we are today. In America, we don’t believe that anything should be decided by government fiat alone. Why should money be any different?

Very Respectfully,

Hector S. Rosekrans