WASHINGTON (AP) — What does Bitcoin have to do with roads and bridges?
A lot right now in the U.S. Congress. One way lawmakers propose to pay for the $1 trillion infrastructure bill the Senate approved Tuesday is by imposing tax-reporting requirements for cryptocurrency brokers, the way stockbrokers report their customers’ sales to the IRS. It could open the way for tighter regulation of cryptocurrency — something the Biden administration is moving toward as it also pushes for tax compliance.
The plan could raise about $28 billion in revenue over 10 years, congressional accountants estimate.
The $28 billion could get stretched very quickly. Take bridges, for example. It would cost an estimated $25.6 billion to replace all the bridges in the country that are classified as structurally deficient, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
So, currency you can’t hold in your hand would effectively pay for roads, bridges, water systems, internet broadband access and shoring up the electrical grid, what President Joe Biden called “a generational investment” on par with building the transcontinental railroad in the 1800s or the Interstate highway system in the ’50s. That’s testament to the explosive growth of cryptocurrencies in recent years — an enticing potential revenue source — and the mounting push by some government officials to put new reins around a largely unregulated market.
After weeks of wrangling, the Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure package in a 69-30 vote. It now moves to the House.