With hope rising for possible crypto regulations coming this year, many have focused their efforts on educating lawmakers on digital assets. Cynthia Lummis, a pro-crypto lawmaker, is hoping to move the conversation forward from inside Capitol Hill.
Working from Within
Lummis, a Republican Senator from Wyoming, said she would launch an initiative to help educate some of her colleagues on Capitol Hill on cryptocurrencies.
Speaking on Anthony Pompliano’s podcast, the Senator explained that her initiative, dubbed the Financial Innovative Caucus, will focus on blockchain education. They hope to bring more lawmakers into the pro-crypto fold.
Lummis has a pretty extensive relationship with cryptocurrencies, having purchased Bitcoin as far back as 2013. The Senator is the mother-in-law to Will Cole, the chief product officer at blockchain financial services firm Unchained Capital. Since she made her purchase, the Wyoming Senator has continued to tout digital assets and their possible benefits.
Now that cryptocurrencies have become mainstream, Lummis believes that it is time to educate more people about them. With her focus on lawmakers, she hopes to stir more pro-crypto regulations in the future and improve these assets standing in the American financial ecosystem.
Lummis told Pompliano that the caucus would focus on combating the wrong narrative that cryptocurrencies are tools for money laundering. The Senator quoted research from blockchain firm Chainalysis, which shows that crypto-enabled crime is much smaller than those enabled by cash.
The Senator also explained that she had been engaging with Janet Yellen, the new Treasury Secretary. Yellen has so far provided mixed indications about her feelings towards cryptocurrencies, claiming that they could improve the American financial system while also decrying their use in criminal activities. However, as Lummis explained, Yellen is being open-minded about digital assets.
“It’s going to take a lot of work to get to where we can have an open dialogue that is free from the clutter of seeing this knee-jerk reaction to the concern that all crypto is subject to criminal activity. Crypto regulations need to leave room for innovation,” Lummis said.
All Hands on Deck
Lummis’ caucus is sure to provide additional help to the crypto industry’s efforts, which have been intensifying on their own of late. Last month, Grayscale Investments, the industry’s top asset management firm raised $1 million to fund Coin Center, the industry’s leading policy think tank and advocacy group.
As Grayscale announced at the time, Coin Center has been doing tremendous work to educate policymakers and legislators on cryptocurrencies and the industry’s nuances. By doing so, the advocacy group hopes to ensure that all crypto-related policy proposals and bills are founded on industry knowledge and not just preconceived notions.
Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein explained that Coin Center’s work will be even more critical now, with the industry getting more attention from mainstream Wall Street. Capitol Hill is getting to notice crypto even more, which is why mass education – especially for lawmakers – is critical.
Along with donating $1 million, Grayscale added that it would match donations to Coin Center up to a further $1 million.