Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Wednesday expressed her displeasure with bitcoin, calling it a “terrible currency” that’s really only useful to “criminals” and speculative investors. The comments came during a Senate subcommittee hearing on the possibility of a central bank digital currency.
“The crypto world currently has no consumer protection, none. As a result, honest investors and people trying to put aside some savings are at the mercy of fraudsters,” she said during her opening statement. She added that “crypto has become a haven for illegal activity,” echoing concerns about the role bitcoin and others may play in cyberattacks, like the one on Colonial Pipeline’s system. Warren also suggested she’s worried about the environmental damage that energy consumption from digitally “mining” cryptocurrencies could cause.
All that said, Warren isn’t necessarily opposed to digital currencies, in general. “Digital currency from central banks has great promise,” she continued. “Legitimate digital public money could help drive out bogus digital private money. It could help improve financial inclusion, efficency, and safety of our financial system if that digital public money is well-designed and efficiently executed. Which are two very big ifs.”