I first met Matt Shea at a local meeting that happens in the morning on Friday, where different speakers come to talk about political matters (mostly). That day it was he and I. At the time I was slightly surprised that people were not asking him more questions, but it appeared they knew his positions well. Then I got up to talk about cryptos. Well, around an hour later than the time allotted for me speaking, I got to chat with Matt Shea, briefly, and we decided to meet up later.
On the 11th I went to his office. We talked about numerous things, including self driving cars - Matt is big on pointing out they'll be here soon in varying capabilities. I won't bore you with a verbatim account, but will focus in on a few things.
First, I brought up WA state Senate BIll 5031. Matt knew it immediately, and informed me he voted against it for the same clear reasons anyone that believes in cryptos would. And he also informed me that it was almost unanimously passed. Knowing that a bill passed, which tries to pretend cryptos are not, well, cryptos, is somewhat disturbing. If you read the law it sounds "reasonable" if you have no idea how cryptos work. The law puts in place requirements that a traditional double-spending-capable entity - that operates on IOU's - would need; by requiring reserves. Obviously that cannot work for an entity that merely swaps cryptos like some of Shapeshift's services that have discontinued in WA. The other thing that is the worst of its attributes is that it requires 3rd party audits, no matter whether it plays custodian or not, which means they have to keep a record of who is using it and what they've done. Think worse than Equifax problems because it is not just a record of whom, but also the amounts of cryptos (wealth).
It seems slightly hard to believe that so many who voted for the 5031 truly mean to be killing cryptos (business) in their state. Considering the bill was even re-edited it would show that leaving in redundant requirements probably means that the approval stems more out of a lack on education on cryptos, than anything else. Which is where another informative bit came up, Matt Shea told me that he has introduced bills before, not because he was expecting them to pass, but because it creates a set of events that educate the elected officials.
Maybe it is time to start drafting an assortment of bills related to cryptos? Once introduced it will get read, and because no elected official has all the time in the world to understand everything, they'll ask people to come and speak on behalf of the subject. (Me? I would!)
Prior to the meeting Matt had told me about something called the Sound Money Committee. I lent him my email so that he could have someone from it send me some information. In the past on two occasions Matt Shea has introduced bills to bring functional tender ability to gold & silver - which is actually constitutionally correct. While reading information from the Sound Money Committee it became clear that the interests with the use of gold & silver align with cryptos: the ability for the average person to diversify wealth through means of actual ownership.
It's no secret that many Bitcoiners are interested in independence from the FED or whomever. It's also easy to dismiss them because it looks like they just want full abandonment. Whether or not that will ever happen isn't necessarily what the focus should be on. The clear desire is that people want to be able to situate themselves with wealth that isn't founded on the fragility of a non-backed asset that is tied to only a local government. For most people it appear nearly impossible since they are not accredited traders that can buy stuff all over the globe, in many markets, and afford the associated costs. They need simple answers. Clearly cryptos have become one of them. Is there a reason we can't have legal currency that is tax exempt from being treated as a commodity, with cryptos, gold, and silver?
As an example of how to use gold & silver: If there are depositories where you can buy both, and use a card like Visa as if it were a debit card in order to make purchases with that asset. You get the added protection of a safe haven, with the ease of spending the asset that is fluid just about anywhere. Cryptos are the same except the depository is a decentralized ledger in the digital world.
A question comes up, if gold & silver should be not taxed as commodities, if they are a legal currency, why would cryptos be? The subject of tax surprised me, when Matt Shea did not see the point of tax on cryptos. For awhile now I've been saying make it simple, just pay income tax on them; because capital gain tax is more or less a way to invite the devil into your home (or exchange), not because I believe they should be taxed. But now I cannot recommend that after Matt asked a question I haven't seen yet in reference to the crypto world, what would the tax pay for?
The only particular moment that services involving cryptos warrant any tax is upon conversion to fiat with MSBs& regulations for them. I'd like to find the figures on taxes that pay for that oversight because it's not unusual for different government expenditures to be amply paid. As an example Matt Shea informed me the property tax in WA state has become nearly redundant; and a little improvement in efficiency within the state's tax use would make it unnecessary. So back to cryptos, why should there be taxes on them, and the BIG question, what does the tax pay for?
Now, something I've speculated about the cryptos world, if people believe and act as though something is true, then it is likely to become the law/regulation. According to Matt Shea that is often seen, where regular participation becomes a standard to which a law is drafted. That is a good thing since cryptos are still new and early in every aspect. So long as people continue using them in such ways that make them of value, then we can expect that to become a norm instead of the field tests of cramming them into existing inapplicable laws with a punitive outlook for them.
Clearly education will be important. Do what you can, don't send up white flags, don't let the FUD burn you. I'll be continuing to speak with more elected officials, working on ideas for bills (for example that would also repeal 5031), and letting them know your interests. Matt Shea was refreshingly in support, but I may not always be so lucky with whom I meet. Please help me spread my range of influence for your interests, check out my support page.