The Keep Innovation in America Act
Plus 13 Dems send a letter to Speaker Pelosi, House Agriculture's draft "Digital Commodity Exchange Act of 2021," last week's JEC hearing, and more.
50 weeks to go to the general election.
Join us tomorrow night on Twitter at 3:00 PST / 6:00 EST as we host Matthew Diemer, candidate for Congress from Ohio’s new 13th district.
Though the district was recently redrawn, Matthew is running for the open seat created when Rep. Anthony Gonzalez announced he won’t be running for re-election. Rep. Gonzalez has been an ally when it comes to improving public policy to encourage crypto innovation in the United States (read more below), so supporting Matthew’s campaign could help us replace one pro-crypto Representative from Ohio with another.
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The Week in Crypto Policy
The “Keep Innovation in America” Act
Following the two Senate bills we highlighted in last week’s newsletter, another bill emerged from the House of Representatives on Thursday that seeks to fix both the faulty broker definition and the unconstitutional Section 6050I reporting requirement.
H.R. 6006, aka the Keep Innovation in America Act, is currently co-sponsored by 7 Republicans and 4 Democrats, including Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC-), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN-), Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX-), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL-9), Rep. Anthony Gonzales (R-OH-16), Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH-8), Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC-13) and Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL-12).
Check out the press release from the House Financial Services GOP office for statements from most of the co-sponsors:
House Dems Letter to Pelosi
Shortly after we published last week’s newsletter, thirteen Democrats in the House of Representatives shared a letter they sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The letter highlights problems with the infrastructure bill’s changes to the “broker” definition that we’ve discussed in this newsletter.
Co-signers of this letter include Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL-9), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-USVI), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15), Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA-7), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX-33), Rep. Jake Auchincloss (D-MA-4), Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL-5), and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL-13).
JEC Crypto Hearing
On Wednesday of last week, the Joint Economic Committee held a hearing entitled “Demystifying Crypto: Digital Assets and the Role of Government.”
Witnesses included (click the name to read their statements):
Alexis Goldstein, Director of Financial Policy at the Open Markets Institute.
Tim Massad, Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Center.
Mr. Kevin Werbach, Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics and Director of the Blockchain and Digital Asset Project at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.
Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research at Coin Center
Below are two good threads unpacking the proceedings:
House Agriculture Committee Crypto Regulatory Blueprint
The House Financial Services Committee does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to crypto-related policy in Congress but it is far from the only committee with relevant jurisdiction. If you’re an OG HODLpac newsletter reader, you know this.
Another committee to keep an eye on is the House Agriculture Committee, which has jurisdiction over, among other things, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.
On Tuesday of last week, Republican Leader of the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA-15), released a discussion draft of the Digital Commodity Exchange Act of 2021. The Agriculture Committee press release described the draft bill as “a blueprint for the regulation of digital commodity markets.” Rep. Thompson also published an open letter seeking "feedback and discussion with stakeholders, regulators, and other interested parties in the coming weeks.”
What do you think about the Digital Commodity Exchange Act of 2021?
Crypto in Congress - November 22, 2021
By Ron Hammond
It's official, on December 8th several crypto CEOs will testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee. This is a big hearing and it will cover a variety of topics! A quick thread of the kind of questions we are getting here in DC...
As a caveat, these points of concern are coming from both sides of the aisle. Some are based on a misunderstanding of the issue while others are fact-based. This is meant to give a baseline understanding of what we are experiencing on the ground in DC, not say who is right/wrong.
First is stablecoins. This has been the dominant crypto policy issue for the past few months. The PWG report highlighted many concerns regarding stablecoin issuers. The Hill is currently grappling with the following: are they bank deposits or not and will they cause a bank run.
Second is DeFi. Notice many detractors of DeFi always lead with "so-called decentralized" finance. The sector itself is very complex and everyone on the Hill is trying to get a better understanding of the issue. Detractors though are raising the alarm in DC that DeFi is a concern.
Third is Twitter and unfortunately, this is rising in prominence in our meetings. DC has learned that the best way to understand crypto is to go to Twitter. However, many things C-suite execs and influencers say on Twitter are viewed as vitriolic or condescending to DC audiences
Fourth is climate. This is a major policy priority for the Administration but both sides of the aisle have expressed concern about the stories in the media they read about Bitcoin's climate impact. Headlines matter and even those in DC new to crypto are keenly aware of this issue.
Fifth is use cases. Simply saying "this helps the unbanked" without providing real, fully functional examples does more harm than good. A recent trend though is policymakers asking how this helps their constituents rather than other countries. Focus your arguments on helping USA.
Sixth is gas fees. This issue is growing as detractors point to the high fluctuation in prices. Typically these arguments are focused on the lack of transparency to consumers and the ability of wealthier individuals to "skip the line." DC is still learning but critics are alarmed.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of champions for crypto in DC, but if we are hoping to appeal to a broader audience then it is important to see what detractors and those on the fence are asking. This hearing will be a full committee hearing so expect a wide range of expertise.
Victoria Guida @vtg2Cryptocurrencies, climate change, coronavirus, cyber attacks — Nellie Liang is staring down a lot of risks brought to you by the letter C. My Q&A with her. https://t.co/TDhqXZWOTp
📚 Good Reads
“What happens to policy proposals, anyways?,” Gyges Lydias, Medium
“Crypto companies, on defense in Washington, scramble to assemble a lobbying machine,” Tory Newmyer, Washington Post
🚨 HODLpac shoutout alert 🚨
“The Fake Environmentalist Attack on Bitcoin,” Nick Gillespie and Regan Taylor, Reason
“Bitcoin VS Big Banks - Morgan Harper US Senate Candidate,” Dennis Porter, Smart People Shit
“The Fight for the Future of Money with Crypto Dad Chris Giancarlo,” David Hoffman and Ryan Sean Adams, Bankless
“New Technology and Old Rules: Constructing a Crypto Regulatory Framework,” Chris Brummer, Katherine Cooper, Melissa Netram, Jennifer J. Schulp and Sarah Wynn, Cato Institute Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives
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