Manchin’s letter cites “potential for criminal misuse” and “speculative gambling” as the major dangers of Bitcoin, and notes that the wild price volatility of recent months leaves “no doubt average American consumers stand to lose by transacting in Bitcoin.” Citing warnings and bans on virtual currencies across the globe, Manchin’s letter concludes with a call to ban Bitcoin outright.
“Before the U.S. gets too far behind the curve on this important topic, I urge the regulators to work together, act quickly, and prohibit this dangerous currency from harming hard-working Americans.”
It’s hardly surprising that the recent Mt.Gox debacle also plays into Manchin’s letter, although it’s clear from his reference to the long-troubled company as the “currency’s major exchange” that his understanding of the Bitcoin market is limited. Rather than being the clear cause of the most recent price volatility, Manchin seems to think that Mt.Gox’s failure was somehow a result of it.
Although he’s a member of the Democratic party, Manchin’s politics tend toward the conservative, particularly on fiscal matters. Manchin also serves on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.