U.S. Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH) introduced legislation entitled the “Keep Your Coins Act” this morning. This comes in the wake of mounting concerns over crackdowns on civil liberties in Canada, as private companies and the Canadian government leverage control of the legacy financial system to disrupt ongoing protests over COVID-19 policies.
If passed, the bill would prevent any agency head from prohibiting or otherwise restricting “the ability of a covered user to— (1) use virtual currency or its equivalent for such user’s own purposes, such as to purchase real or virtual goods and services for the user’s own use; or (2) conduct transactions through a self-hosted wallet.”
Bitcoin Magazine sat down with Congressman Davidson to discuss the bill:
I know self-custody has been on your mind for a while now. What prompted today’s move?
We started working on the text after it was obvious that Secretary Yellen would resurrect the effort to restrict self-custody. If they can’t stop crypto, they want to try to move it to an account-based system.
What does the bill accomplish?
It takes the FinCen language that’s been out there for a while now and provides a framework for KYC that protects self-custody.
This feels timely, especially after the Canadian government has doubled-down on restricting the funding for and bank accounts of the protesters there. In your mind, what’s the relationship between self-custody and free speech?
People are talking about [free speech] with the trucker convoy. If this [protest] happened in America, some would be cheering, some would be upset. My point is that it should be even-handed. We shouldn't use money as a way of controlling people. Of course if there’s criminal activity, you should go after that. But imagine if the same thing were done to a crowdfunded BLM movement. That wouldn’t be okay. It’s not okay with the Freedom Convoy, either.
What can Bitcoin Magazine readers do to help this bill pass?
If people read about this bill and support it, they can contact their representatives in Congress and the Senate and encourage them to do the same. Hopefully we build momentum swiftly and attach it to must-pass legislation.