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Mike Rounds

Mike Rounds (R)

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Notable statements

Sen. Mike Rounds has 3 statement(s) about crypto.

"We should be encouraging innovation in cryptocurrency, not discouraging it. Mobile payments and cryptocurrency are here to stay – and have the opportunity to give consumers more & cheaper banking options. #AmericanInnovation #FreeEnterprise"

@SenatorRounds October 24, 2019 on Twitter

"Thread: Recently, I tweeted about the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. Since then, the Colonial Pipeline network has returned to normal operations, but I realize that there was one question I didn’t answer. Specifically: how do ransomware ransoms get paid? Hostage and ransom payments are a practice that has been applied in different contexts for thousands of years, ranging from prisoner exchanges to kidnappings. Today, a person collecting a ransom payment does not want their identity publicly tied to a ransom. Software developments, however, mean that they don’t need to bother with masks and voice modulators. They can issue a ransom and request payment with a cryptocurrency (CC) (like bitcoin) rather than exchange a briefcase full of cash. Some history: in the last century governments have moved away from commodity currencies (such as gold) to fiat currencies (such as Federal Reserve notes) cementing the idea that money can have value just because people agree it does. Some people decided that, if the commodity backing a currency doesn’t matter, then why should money need to be a physical object and why should you need a government (or bank) to back money? From there, some programmers started developing cryptocurrencies (CCs). CCs exist only in digital ledgers and wallets rather than as physical objects like dollar bills. Like all fiat currencies, they have value only because people agree they do, but CCs in general lack the backing of a government or central bank. The software used to make new CCs exists and is publicly available, which means that developing a new CC can be done in as little as a few hours. Honestly, it looks like a return to the days when each bank printed their own notes. Using bitcoin as an example: bitcoins exist in digital ledgers, but to prevent fraudulent exchanges, transactions are recorded in encrypted blocks. Each block points at the previous block and has a timestamp. Go where each block points and you get a chain, called a “blockchain”. This blockchain of transactions forms a distributed ledger that is difficult to modify and easy to verify (in theory); a ledger that is maintained collectively on a network with specific protocols to verify each new block in the chain, meaning that bitcoin exchanges are secure. These protocols revolve around cryptography (for computers, this is the use of math to code information) hence “crypto”currencies. However, someone needs to actually verify each new block in the chain to keep the system running smoothly. Since #bitcoins are decentralized, there isn’t a government or bank to maintain the system, which means there needs to be a different way. People who verify transactions are bitcoin miners, and the process of verification is fundamental to how they make (or mine) new bitcoins. In short, mining a new bitcoin is a two-step process. First, you need to verify a block’s worth of transactions, then you need to guess a hash (a number). Your guess is compared to a target (called a nonce) and if your guess is below the nonce then you form a block. You may ask “why not just guess 000…0001 for your hash, if the goal is to get a hash below the target nonce?” The answer: your guess is put through what is basically a randomizing equation based on several inputs, like the timestamp. Guessing your hash ahead of time is #noncense The first person to win a block gets a prize of bitcoins. Since the second step in forming a block is essentially up to chance, the most effective way to mine is simply to throw more computation at the problem, verifying as many blocks as possible as fast as possible. Despite the randomness, it's more like they’re getting paid a fee to maintain ledgers than mining or creating bitcoins. Miners provide proof that they’ve done work to contribute to the chain in exchange for compensation (in bitcoins), rather than making bitcoins themselves. The interesting thing is that you can make it easier or harder to form new blocks if you make the nonce higher or lower. And for bitcoin, the difficulty is adjusted every 2016 blocks so that the rate of formation of new blocks is constant. In short, the more miners there are, the harder it is to mine bitcoins. Since the best way to mine is to simply use more computations, there is an incentive to pool as much effort into mining as possible, simply to make sure your pool has an advantage over other miners. This means that, as bitcoin gets more valuable, more people mine, mining gets harder, it takes more computations and more electricity to mine a bitcoin. Some of you may be familiar with @elonmusk recent statement about bitcoin’s carbon footprint. So how does this relate to Colonial Pipeline? Bitcoins only exist as data. They can be tied to digital wallets rather than a specific person’s identity, which means people believe they can receive and spend them anonymously- perfect for secret transactions like ransoms. There are many interesting moves being made in the field of CCs. It very much is the Wild West of finance. They make new things possible, which isn’t always a good thing. They can have consequences no one expected. This field deserves a great deal of attention going forward."

@SenatorRounds May 27, 2021 on Twitter

"As technology advances, so does the use of digital currency. In fact, @Anchorage, a crypto vault company, just opened a 2nd HQ in Sioux Falls. But digital currency raises new questions about privacy & security concerns."

@SenatorRounds July 16, 2019 on Twitter

Crypto bill sponsorship

Sen. Mike Rounds has put out 0 crypto bills.


This senator has not sponsored or co-sponsored any crypto bills.

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