Tesla's Musk Urges Lawmakers Weighing Infrastructure Bill's Tax Provision Not to Pick Crypto 'Winners or Losers'

The car company's CEO responded via Twitter to a thread by Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, who has been critical of the tax provision and a late amendment to it.

Aug 7, 2021 at 1:13 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:37 p.m. UTC

Elon Musk urged lawmakers considering the Senate infrastructure bill's crypto tax provision not "to pick technology winners or losers in cryptocurrency technology" in a tweet responding to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on Friday.

  • "There is no crisis that compels hasty legislation," the Tesla CEO and crypto influencer tweeted after Armstrong called the most recent proposed amendment to the contentious tax provision "disastrous."
  • The amendment submitted late Thursday by Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who wrote the original tax provision, and Mark Warner (D-Va.) was meant to water down the provision by excluding proof-of-work mining and entities involved in the selling of hardware or software that gives individuals control of private keys for digital assets. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill Saturday.
  • Armstrong has been among the most vocal critics of the tax provision. In a 10-tweet series, his second in two days, he largely directed his ire 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 wrote. "This is disastrous."
  • Armstrong urged readers to reject the Portman-Warner amendment and vote for an earlier proposed change by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), which he praised in a Wednesday tweet thread for narrowing the definition of "intermediaries who have the capacity to report."
  • He believes that the bill could threaten the development of crypto in the U.S. 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.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.