Crypto Is a ‘Crock’? Twitter Reacts to House ICO Hearing

Despite the overall measured tone among lawmakers at Wednesday’s House subcommittee hearing on initial coin offerings, a few members of the panel made inflammatory statements.

Social media users responded in kind.

The most incendiary comment came from California Rep. Brad Sherman, who called cryptocurrencies a “crock.” While some Twitter users merely encouraged him to educate himself on the topic, his incredulity that anyone would need alternatives to the legacy banking system and his warnings about a crypto-funded terror attack drew harsher responses.

@BradSherman with all due respect sir, please do not speak about cryptocurrency again. You obviously know too little about it to make competent statements and you obviously need some history lessons. #ICOsInTheHouse#cryptocurrency

— The Brainman of crypto (@theBrainium) March 14, 2018

Crypto Is a ‘Crock’? Twitter Reacts to House ICO Hearing
Crypto Is a ‘Crock’? Twitter Reacts to House ICO Hearing

“Cryptocurrencies are a crock. They are popular with guys who sit around in their pajamas and tell their wives they’re going to be millionaires.” – Congressman @BradSherman

Technological illiteracy aside, thank you for the sexist slight.#ICOsInTheHouse

— Sarah Howland (@sarahvhowland) March 14, 2018

Tagging @BradSherman because I’d rather talk to him than about him. Congressman, your views on cryptocurrencies are outdated & poorly researched. You showed extreme ignorance of both the world economy and the technology behind crypto. You left mid-hearing, why? #ICOsInTheHouse

— Michelle L. Staton (@MichelleLStaton) March 14, 2018

Rep. @BradSherman of the US House is far too behind given his old age & far too ignorant that it is not even laughable.

“Perhaps we’ll have another hearing when a terrorist group has been found using cryptocurrency.” ~ @BradSherman

When has cash not done that?#ICOsInTheHouse

— Neeraj Thakur (@NeerajT4) March 14, 2018

Still other users simply found Sherman’s ideas about the space amusing.

Funny I am watching Sherman complain about crypto having no social benefit and how harmful it is while embedded in the Financial Services website right beside the video is a tracker of the national debt. #ICOsInTheHouse

— Crypto TDH (@JHoffa9) March 14, 2018

Hoping Shermans salt power fans btc’s flames like Jamie Dimons did last year it could use the fuel #ICOsInTheHouse

— slop (@SloppyProfits) March 14, 2018

‘A bright light’

At the other end of the spectrum, Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, was lauded on crypto Twitter for breaking with his fellow lawmakers with a full-throated defense of the technology.

He argued that Congress should not attempt to regulate a subject it does not understand, and added that “access to capital is something Democrats and Republicans should celebrate.”

A bright light during this (mostly redundant) hearing was Minnesota Rep Tom Emmer’s portion. He started off with a bang by saying “I hear elected officials who don’t have any concept of what we’re dealing with here … talking about ‘we have to go in and regulate.'”

— CryptoGodzilla (@CryptoGodzilla) March 14, 2018

@tomemmer Thank you for defending innovation at the financial services committee!! Cryptocurrencies will force banks to become a hyper-deflationary monetary policy, but we need leaders like you to help change the tide.

— 2Morrows Future (@2MFuture) March 14, 2018

Emmer’s statements were so positive that some on Twitter considered granting him the “cryptodaddy” title, which Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo has held since his own hearing appearance last month.

We have a new Crypto Daddy –> @RepTomEmmer from the US house. Sounds bullish. “I am worried about giving more power to the government and taking liberty from the public.” #ICOsInTheHouse

— Neeraj Thakur (@NeerajT4) March 14, 2018

Notable figures in the industry also weighed in on the hearing, including Stephen Palley of Anderson Kill, who recently started a practice at his firm focused on cleaning up messes in the crypto space.

Palley, who delights in needling blockchain advocates for making fanciful claims, poked fun at Emmer’s passionate tone.

OK relax congressman.

— Iambic Palley (@stephendpalley) March 14, 2018

Despite the fireworks from Emmer and Sherman, Palley appeared to be generally unimpressed with the hearing:

The Senate hearing was more interesting.

— Iambic Palley (@stephendpalley) March 14, 2018

Wednesday’s hearing was the third such event in two months, though the conversation in Congress (and on Twitter) is likely to continue.

Rep. Bill Huizenga, the chairman of the subcommittee on capital markets, securities and investment, concluded the hearing by telling the panelists, “I believe that this is probably hello and not goodbye.”

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