Republicans Back Bitcoin?

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( – On Tuesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) put out a bill that would make it possible for Americans to start paying their federal income tax through bitcoin payments. According to the Florida lawmaker, this move is going to push for greater innovation and efficiency as well as more flexibility. 

In his statement, he argued that this was a move towards a future where digital currencies would be an important part of the financial system, and would ensure that the United States continues to be at the top of technological advancements. 

Gaetz pointed out that he was inspired to create this bill after he visited El Salvador which in 2021 became the first nation to start using bitcoin as a legal currency. 

In 2022, the Colorado government also approved the usage of cryptocurrency to pay off taxes 2022. Other states, including Kentucky, New Jersey, and Utah have also taken steps toward approving the payment. 

The bill came as the U.S. Congress was trying to figure out the best way to regulate cryptocurrencies, especially due to the instability and fraud surrounding this industry. Last month the House passed a regulation framework that would make it possible for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to completely oversee the trading of cryptocurrency. 

The House bill was opposed by SEC Chair Gary Gensler who argued that it would undermine the regulatory powers of his agency, as the failures of the crypto industry are not because of a lack of rules, but rather because the players did not play by them.

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