WHAT IS CRYPTOLOBBY?
Cryptolobby is a DBA of MonaLisa Wallace, Esq., a feminist attorney and advocate for the potential human benefit achieved by access to cryptocurrency, and the freedom to exchange value between people without relying on the currency of a nation-state or corporation. MonaLisa and her staff conduct research, publish, organize and educate policymakers, the public and the media about the social benefits of cryptocurrency technology and advocates for accessible, decentralized, permissionless and open cryptocurrency networks. Educating the public, media and policymakers at all levels of government and fostering grassroots activism, CryptoLobby advocates for consumer protection, freedom of speech, fair taxation, technology innovation, privacy, net neutrality and limited banking, securities and commodities regulation of cryptocurrency.
WHY DOES CRYPTO NEED A LOBBY?
The conflicting state-by-state legislation and regulatory barriers to free and open exchange are hindering humanity’s attempt to collectively adopt a decentralized monetary supply, not controlled by a corporation or a nation. Freedom of speech and other political freedoms are often squashed when access to the money supply is blocked. Cryptocurrency is an expression of the basic human right to communicate with one another and make simple transactions without first involving a nation-state or paying a toll to a corporation.
Human beings, no matter what time period or place in the world, have always found a way to exchange value with one another – that currency could have been shells, gold coins, dollar bills or cryptocurrency. By lobbying, corporations and banking institutions use their billions of dollars in lobbying power to change laws to favor them and their profits. Banking institutions are not willing to lose economic control. Decentralization of monetary controls is at the heart of billions of dollars of lobbying investments generating regulations to limit the utility of cryptocurrency. With CryptoLobby, human beings can also use their collective lobbying power to change laws to favor them and their human right to freely exchange value and communicate with one another.
Cryptocurrency itself is a form of speech. Censoring it means censoring the digital world. But very specifically, cryptocurrency provides a means for people to communicate and support one another without relying on a potentially hostile or expensive monetary system. An example of banking blockade used to squelch freedom of speech is Wikileaks, the history making publisher which exposed major criminal activity by the US government and its corporate contractors. Wikileaks reported a 95% destruction of their revenue stream when they experienced a banking blockade imposed by PayPal, Bank of America, MasterCard, Visa and Western Union. They credit the success of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in their own continued work and recognize the promise of cryptocurrency to disrupt the power of nation-states and banking institutions to “dominate, regulate and control the monetary system.”
Cryptocurrency empowers people to exchange value with one another without paying a toll in the form of transaction fees or interest. Reasons people use cryptocurrency range along the lines of all uses for money. Cryptocurrency can be exceptionally helpful to those who are otherwise underserved by the conventional monetary system. For example, remittances are payments people send as gifts or to pay for goods or services. Migrant workers who want to send money to their home country no longer need to pay heavy fees if their receiver has the ability to receive cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency can save the sender remittance fees when sending money to friends or family in another country. Western Union, whose clientele is often unbanked and impoverished will facilitate these remittances but charge a percentage of each payment. Those fees add up. Individuals in the US sent $134.96 billion last year to other countries, according to the World Bank, at a global average rate of 7.40% — that is a $10 billion dollar industry. Add to that all of the other transactions that can be replaced by cryptocurrency, more people every day are finding substantial savings in transaction costs and vastly improved privacy and security protections.
WHEN REGULATIONS EMERGE …EDUCATION ABOUT FREE ACCESS IS CRITICAL
The rising tide of cryptocurrencies continues to gain wide global acceptance and is threatening the currently dominant financial institutions. Fintech innovations have been rapidly adapting around blockchain technology. Over a thousand cryptocurrencies are exchanged on the financial market. Bitcoin is accepted to buy typical consumer products from pizzas to concert tickets. In all the excitement around cryptocurrency, the interests of the speculators have become headline news while the real revolution in cryptocurrency is only just beginning to emerge. Protecting speculators becomes an excuse for excessive regulation which ends up blocking users from using this cost saving tool to exchange value. Financial institutions do not want to lose the fees and interest they charge people for transacting value. By liberating a reliable money supply from a nation-state, the global balance of power may shift. Cryptolobby advocates for the potential human benefit achieved by access to cryptocurrency, and the freedom to exchange value between people without relying on the currency of a nation-state or corporation.
HOW TO PROTECT CRYPTO? GOOD LAWS VS BAD LAWS
Good laws respect cryptocurrency as a legitimate currency and first amendment right to free speech; whatever its volatility in value, cryptocurrency should suffer no additional governmental interference or observance than exchanging gold or dollar bills. If two people are legally permitted to transact cash or gold coins without first reporting to or being spied upon by the government, they should be allowed to transact cryptocurrency too. Regulation and access to cryptocurrency is a human rights issue because of the basic right of human beings to make transactions and communications between one another without first involving government. The government may burden a citizen with a reporting or even tax obligation, but that is very different from spying on or even directly interfering with a transaction without due process.
Regulations must balance the interests of speculators and monetary institutions vs. people who wish to use cryptocurrency for efficient, honest, legal transactions that do not involve or pay corporations or nation-states. Although protection of people’s investments in cryptocurrency from fraud or loss has been the driving call to justice by the financial regulators and legislators, there has been little distinction made between protecting speculators (those who purchase cryptocurrency through a third party to hold and await capital gains) and those who use cryptocurrency for a transaction. As the impetus to regulate cryptocurrency through licensing requirements in states such as New York, or onerous banking style regulations on third-party cryptocurrency service providers, such as in Hawaii, the claim is to be protecting the public.
Cryptolobby calls attention to the very different interests of speculators versus users. Users should not be curtailed from making transactions between one another or forced to pay transaction fees to regulators just to protect speculators. Regulations designed to protect speculators should be narrow enough as to not overstep human liberty to make transactions without involving government. Losing the freedom to make transactions between people without government involvement by over-regulating cryptocurrency, is tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bath water.
De mimimis exemption tax laws are an example of good cryptocurrency law. A barrier to using bitcoin and cryptocurrency can be confusion about the tax code created in the 2014 IRS decision to classify cryptocurrency as property. This creates confusion if purchasing a cup of coffee could create a capital gains reporting obligation to the IRS. For example, the Cryptocurrency Tax Fairness Act is a bipartisan bill rejected in 2017 but still awaiting Congressional approval. The act would create a de minimis exemption for any cryptocurrency transactions below $600, so that consumers who choose to use cryptocurrency for purchases can be protected from “burdensome reporting requirements.” The Act would also require the Treasury Department to issue guidelines for informational reporting on cryptocurrency transactions for which capital gains is due. De minimis tax exemption for cryptocurrency transactions would be a great example of good law.
Global governments are proclaiming support of cryptocurrency and recognizing the promise for humanity of block chain technology. Although several countries ban bitcoin, and several US states and federal agencies have laws impeding cryptocurrency adoption, the global current has been a proclamation of support. The unifying reason for that support is human innovation. Blockchain technology is a digital evolution generating unique assets, but cryptocurrency is a human revolution because it empowers interpersonal value transfers untethered to a nation-state, physical commodity or geographical border. The European Commission and the US House of Representatives have proclaimed support of cryptocurrency and other blockchain innovations.
H.Res.835 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)
“Whereas blockchain technology with the appropriate protections has the potential to fundamentally change the manner in which trust and security are established in online transactions through various potential applications in sectors including financial services, payments, health care, energy, property management, and intellectual property management: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—
(1) the United States should develop a national policy to encourage the development of tools for consumers to learn and protect their assets in a way that maximizes the promise customized, connected devices hold to empower consumers, foster future economic growth, create new commerce and new markets;
(2) the United States should prioritize accelerating the development of alternative technologies that support transparency, security, and authentication in a way that recognizes their benefits, allows for future innovation, and responsibly protects consumers’ personal information;
(3) the United States should recognize that technology experts can play an important role in the future development of consumer-facing technology applications for manufacturing, automobiles, telecommunications, tourism, health care, energy, and general commerce;
(4) the United States should support further innovation, and economic growth, and ensure cybersecurity, and the protection of consumer privacy; and
(5) innovators in technology, manufacturing, automobiles, telecommunications, tourism, health care, and energy industries should commit to improving the quality of life for future generations by developing safe and consumer protective, new technology aimed at improving consumers’ access to commerce.”
Why Crypto Needs a Lobby by MonaLisa Wallace, Esq. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://cryptolobby.com.