In a recent interview, United States congressman and a known crypto skeptic Brad Sherman claimed that banning cryptocurrencies is not an option at this point.
In a statement to LA Times, the Northridge-area Democrat said that the crypto industry has become quite powerful over the years. He added that the high capital donations to the politicians and strong crypto lobbying make it impossible for them to impose a blanket ban. He explained:
“We didn’t ban it at the beginning because we didn’t realize it was important, and we didn’t ban it now because there’s too much money and power behind it.”
The democratic representative is a well-known skeptic who has been demanding a crypto ban since 2019. Nearly three years later, Sherman has changed his tune about a ban and now advocates for regulating the crypto market.
The U.S. congressman is especially worried about small and retail investors who often fall prey to gullible scams but admitted that any amount of effort by the judiciary to protect investors won’t work until they keep investing in cryptocurrencies such as memecoins. He said:
“It is hard to be running the subcommittee dedicated to investor protection in a country in which people want to wager on [memecoins].”
Sherman advocated for crypto being brought under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The same committee he criticized in July earlier this year for not going after the big fish crypto exchanges.
U.S. lawmakers have been long demanding regulatory bodies in the U.S. to bring the nascent crypto market under the purview of the law. However, there has been a big difference in opinion on how the crypto market should be regulated.
A significant majority of lawmakers, including Sherman, are in favor of strict regulatory policies that crypto proponents believe would infringe upon decentralization. The ban on Tornado Cash was one such example supported by the likes of Sherman. On the other hand, U.S. lawmakers such as Hester Peirce and Cynthia Lummis have been strongly fighting for pro-crypto regulations for a long time.
Many believe that after Ethereum transitions to proof-of-stake (PoS), a faction of Ether (ETH) miners will be creating a proof-of-work (PoW) fork of the network so that they can still keep mining. An executive believes that there are ways for ETH holders to take advantage of this upcoming event.
In a Twitter thread, Bobby Ong, the co-founder of token information website CoinGecko, shared his strategies when it comes to the upcoming ETH Merge. According to Ong, ETH holders will soon be getting airdrops of ETH PoW tokens and shared some tips on how ETH holders can fully seize this opportunity.
Ong noted that the easiest way to get the fork airdrops is to hold ETH at exchanges that support the forks. However, holding ETH in hardware wallets would also work and could make a trader eligible for all the forked tokens.
To maximize the amount that holders can get, the executive also advised traders to bridge their tokens back to the ETH mainnet, unwrap their Wrapped Ether (wETH) and remove their ETH liquidity from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.
Despite these tips, Ong noted that while he may be eligible to get all of the forked tokens, he would not claim all of the airdrops as some of them could be scam attempts that would try to get access to his signature and keys. The executive also shared that his strategy for the forked tokens is to “sell them all immediately.” He wrote:
“Almost all the fork tokens are now dead as they are created solely to keep miners temporarily occupied with mining and have no incentive to grow their community and usage.”
Meanwhile, nonfungible token (NFT) marketplace OpenSea said that it will not be supporting forked NFTs in its platform. The popular NFT trading platform recently announced that it will only support NFTs on the upgraded PoS blockchain. Apart from OpenSea, blockchain oracle project Chainlink also expressed its support for the upgraded ETH network by announcing that PoW forks will not be supported by Chainlink.
The first known case of a nonfungible token (NFT) created and shared by a “terrorist sympathizer” has come to light, raising concerns that the immutable nature of blockchain tech could help the spread of terrorist messages and propaganda.
In a Sunday article in The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), intelligence experts said the NFT could be a sign that Islamic State and other terror groups may also be using blockchain technology to evade sanctions and raise funds for their terrorist campaigns.
The NFT in question was reportedly discovered by Raphael Gluck, co-founder of the United States-based research firm Jihadoscope, who found the NFT through pro-ISIS social-media accounts.
Named IS-NEWS #01, the digital token is said to be an image bearing the Islamic State’s emblem with text praising Afghanistan-based Islamic militants for attacking a Taliban position.
Mario Cosby, a former federal intelligence analyst specializing in blockchain currencies, said the user created another two other NFTs on Aug. 26: one showing an Islamic State fighter teaching students to make explosives and the other condemning smoking cigarettes.
The analysts said this could be a sign that terrorist groups may be using the emerging technology to spread their message and test new funding strategies.
“It’s very much an experiment […] to find ways to make content indestructible,” said Gluck.
The digital token was reportedly listed on NFT marketplace OpenSea, but the company quickly took the listing down and closed the posters account, citing a “zero-tolerance policy on inciting hate and violence.”
The trio of NFTs was also reportedly present on NFT marketplace Rarible and several others before being taken down.
While none of the NFTs appear to have been traded, Cosby says the existence of the tokens is a cause for concern because “it’s as censorship-proof as you can get,” adding:
“There’s not really anything anyone can do to actually take this NFT down.”
Security experts have previously expressed their concerns about the future potential for terrorists to exploit emerging technologies and markets, including NFTs, to fund attacks.
In March, Israeli authorities seized a set of 30 crypto wallets from 12 exchange accounts linked to Hamas, a militant group based in the Gaza Strip.
Last April, Matthew Levitt, director of the Jeanette and Eli Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Cointelegraph that while crypto has been linked to several terror financing cases, “it has not yet become a primary means of terror financing.”
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.