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U.S. Senator Jon Tester Expresses Skepticism About Cryptocurrency and Its Regulation

U.S. Senator Jon Tester expresses skepticism about the existence and regulation of cryptocurrency. Tester, who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, has criticized cryptocurrency in the past, saying that it "has not been able to pass the smell test" for him.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester says regulating crypto will encourage "people to think it's real." In a Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Montana farmer and teacher turned U.S. Senator Jon Tester told host Chuck Todd that cryptocurrency has "not been able to pass the smell test for me."

"Should the government be regulating it or banning it?" "One or the other," Tester replied.

"I have not been able to find anybody who's been able to explain to me what's there other than synthetics—which means nothing," he continued. "The problem is... if we regulated it, it might give it the ability of people to think it's real."

Sen. Tester has not been shy about his distaste for crypto, telling Semafor last week, "It's all bullshit."

"It needs to be done in this committee, not [agriculture], so CFTC is a 'no,'" Tester said.

Sen. Tester's Role on the Senate Banking Committee

While Sen. Tester's personal opinions on cryptocurrency may be negative, his role on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee means that he has influence in the debate over how to regulate the crypto industry. In the wake of the U.S. midterm elections, party leaders were reportedly skeptical of the proposed Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA), which would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) primary authority over crypto regulation. Sen. Tester voiced his objections to this proposal, saying that it would give cryptocurrency additional legitimacy and should be handled by the Senate Banking Committee rather than the Agriculture Committee.

Sen. Tester's Criticism of Facebook's Libra

In 2019, Sen. Tester was also a vocal critic of Facebook's failed cryptocurrency initiative, Libra. He compared the potential risks of inadequate controls in the crypto industry to the financial crisis of 2008 and questioned whether Facebook could prevent a similar collapse.

Overall, Sen. Tester's views on cryptocurrency have been consistently negative, and he has shown no signs of changing his mind on the matter.