Editors note: this article has been updated with more information about the bill.
The Senate procedural vote held late Wednesday night was a big step forward in the difficult process of brokering such a large infrastructure package in Congress. This is, however, the very first step for the package, and requires a few more hurdles before it reaches President Biden’s desk for an official signing to become law.
Naturally, the actual text of the bill was not released prior to this procedural vote, which means that one can only surmise what the circulating draft language from various fact sheets could mean for bitcoin holders, miners, and related companies.
While the language is not in official draft legislation form yet, there have been numerous fact sheets circulated to reporters and other Senate offices in addition to a fact sheet from the White House highlighting key agreement areas for budget proposals. Regarding the future offsets of this proposed infrastructure package from the official White House Fact Sheet:
“...It is financed through a combination of redirecting unspent emergency relief funds, targeted corporate user fees, strengthening tax enforcement when it comes to crypto currencies, and other bipartisan measures…”
Additional fact sheet excerpts regarding cryptocurrency mentions:
“The provision includes updating the definition of broker to reflect the realities of how digital assets are acquired and traded...”
“The provision further makes clear that broker-to-broker reporting applies to all transfers of covered securities within the meaning of section 6045(g)(3), including digital assets.”
Senate staffers have alluded that this language simply adds digital assets to the current rules regarding businesses and brokers to report cash payments over $10,000. However, the way that the current provisions are written leave room for interpretation that may include a wide-range of bitcoin related sectors, including but not limited to; software wallet developers, hardware wallet manufacturers, and potentially miners.
The Joint Committee on Taxation produced a summary estimating that the changes would raise approximately $28 billion over tax revenue over ten years.
The fact that all of us in this industry are trying to interpret what the broad and vague language could mean for bitcoiners is indicative of two things in particular — the senators, and their staffers, are highly uneducated on both bitcoin and on the innovative and tenacious nature of bitcoiners.
This should be a wake-up call for bitcoiners to bring their education and fiery passion for a bitcoin standard beyond the 280-character limit on Twitter and into the legislative halls.
While we do not know what the future of our American government will look like, we do have to navigate the current legacy system while we actively lay the groundwork for a new monetary system rooted in proof-of-work.
Bitcoiners are some of the most knowledgeable individuals on economic principles and theories today, but they are also some of the most reserved individuals to educate those who make decisions that directly affect our lives and the U.S. economy.
I urge bitcoiners to shed the laissez-faire attitude to government and to instead become Bitcoin champions in their communities, and with their local representatives.
Immediately contact your Senator to share your concerns with the proposed infrastructure bills (both the $1 trillion physical package, and the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation), and be sure to reference both specific issues with the language and state your concerns about the cost to the taxpayer.
Worth noting — the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill will be difficult to pass and is already receiving pushback from both Senate and House members.
We all know that this bill will not be the last attempt to milk bitcoiners for additional sources of revenue to support federal or state programs, but it could be one of the last with minimal advocacy and pushback from bitcoiners.
Bitcoiners have jumped in the lifeboat, but we must now survive the waves of misinformation about inflation and our floundering U.S. dollar. The most peaceful and bright future relies upon immense education about bitcoin and how it is the solution to these unfeasible spending packages. This education needs to be shared at city council meetings, county supervisor meetings, state house legislative sessions, churches, and beyond.
- Search for your senator’s name on senate.gov and go to their website to contact their district and/or capitol office.
- The most effective strategy is to cite specific line items from the bill once the text is released. But this may be difficult considering the speed at which the legislation could move so be sure to at least urge your senator to reconsider support for the proposed legislation until considerable changes are made.
- Additionally, once this bill leaves the Senate it will go to the House; do the same form of advocacy ahead of time, by reaching out about your concerns now. Search for your representative on house.gov and go to their website to contact their district and/or capitol office.
This is a guest post by Trystine Payfer. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.