Elon Musk and Brian Armstrong Urge Relaxed Crypto Regulation

Elon Musk has encouraged lawmakers (via Twitter of course) who are currently considering the Senate infrastructure bill’s crypto tax provision not “to pick technology winners or losers in crypto”. Musk was responding to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on Friday.

“There is no crisis that compels hasty legislation,” the Tesla CEO and crypto influencer said after Armstrong labeled the most recent proposed amendment to the contentious tax provision “disastrous.”

The amendment submitted late on Thursday by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who wrote the original tax provision, and Mark Warner (D-Virginia.) was designed to water down the provision by excluding proof-of-work mining and any entity involved in the selling of hardware or software that gives individuals control of private keys. Lawmakers took one step closer to passing the $1 trillion infrastructure bill this past Saturday.

Armstrong has been one of the most vocal critics of the tax provision. In a 10-tweet thread, his second in two days, he primarily directed his outrage at the Portman-Warner amendment. “At the 11th hour, @MarkWarner has proposed an amendment that would decide which foundational technologies are OK and which are not in crypto,” Armstrong tweeted. “This is disastrous.”

He urged readers to reject the Portman-Warner amendment and vote for an earlier proposed change by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), which he praised in a Wednesday thread for narrowing the definition of “intermediaries who have the capacity to report.”

Armstrong believes that the bill could threaten the development of crypto in the U.S.A. and drive innovation in the industry to other countries by saddling miners, validators, smart contracts, open source developers and others with “massive reporting obligations.” These requirements would require Coinbase and other exchanges “to surveil” their customers’ transactions more closely than traditional financial services organizations, Armstrong wrote and urged readers to ask their representatives to remove the surveillance language, which as yet does not seem to have been adhered to.

The thread and Musk’s response can be seen below:

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