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Lummis: Congress Needs to Understand Crypto
Even the most libertarian-minded of us recognize that in financial markets, there will be some regulation. As we’ve written before, the Securities and Exchange Commission has done a remarkably good job regulating traditional finance since its inception 88 years ago. The problem is the SEC doesn’t currently have the tools or the leadership to regulate the crypto space.
While we don’t support everything in the Lummis-Gillibrand crypto regulatory bill, we agree that the perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of the good. And it is a good starting point for Congress to retool how its agencies approach crypto. Given its competing proposal, the Stabenow-Boozman Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act, has SBF’s grifting fingerprints all over it, Sen. Cynthia Lummis is right that it’s time for her fellow Congress members to learn about crypto.
The collapse of crypto exchange FTX highlights the need for Congress to "learn more" about cryptocurrency, said Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), known as the "Bitcoin Senator" for her cryptocurrency advocacy on Capitol Hill.
Lummis, who introduced the bipartisan Responsible Financial Innovation Act alongside Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) earlier this year, spoke in a pre-recorded interview at the Financial Times' Crypto and Digital Asset Summit.
Asked whether recent events involving the downfall of FTX—whose former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was a regular at congressional crypto hearings—Lummis responded, "I hope it's highlighted with members of Congress who have not taken the time to learn more about this asset class, that it's time for them to learn more about it so we can engage in proper regulation."
She noted that FTX was "heavily involved" in drafting the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA), which is backed by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and ranking member, Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.).
"That bill needs to be rewritten in a way that is more effective and neutral as to business models, but very, very focused on consumer protection," she said.
Lummis added that both the House and Senate, as well as both political parties, need to recognize that "it's just time to regulate this space."
She pointed to the risks that FTX took with customers' money, "based in large part on the reputation of Sam Bankman-Fried, and his extraordinary ability to garner the confidence of people to make big investments and take big bets on FTX." That, she said, served as an indication of "how influential certain people can be even over sophisticated and rich investors."