- Marco Santori and Cynthia Lummis had a fireside chat at the Bitcoin 2022 conference to discuss the evolving bitcoin legislation that Lummis is working on.
- Lummis was joined by Marco Santori, a digital asset specialist among lawyers and serves as chief legal officer for Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange.
- Lummis also shared his perspective on how politicians view the potential for a Federal Reserve Central Bank (CBDC) digital currency.
During Bitcoin 2022, US Senator Cynthia Lummis provided details on a bipartisan bill, The Responsible Financial Innovation Act, which she hopes will establish favorable Bitcoin regulation during a fireside chat with Marco Santori, Kraken’s legal director.
“It’s really a legislative framework that we hope will provide the sandbox for innovation to happen, but also put in place some regulatory parameters, so you all know the rules of the road,” said explained Lummis. “It includes privacy components, consumer protection components, tax components…”
This becomes an obvious burden when nation states recognize Bitcoin’s success and attempt to enforce existing regulations to govern its use or create new laws to do so. In the United States, Lummis said she sees lawmakers becoming increasingly open to the idea of passing Bitcoin-friendly rules that would foster innovation in the country.
“There were concerns about whether bitcoin and digital asset exchanges would participate in the sanctions [on Russia]and they did, and they were solid actors,” Lummis noted. “For most members of Congress, this has been abstract for a long time… This has changed dramatically in the past 12 months and in part thanks to all of you.”
Legislation and the cryptocurrency space have been increasingly at odds for some time now. In July 2021, for example, Bitcoiners were abruptly disturbed on a Wednesday evening when the announcement of a new infrastructure bill in the United States appeared to require that know-your-customer (KYC) reporting criteria be collected from people sending more than $10,000 in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The pseudonymous nature of bitcoin prevents the collection of this type of information, which has raised concerns, and suddenly it seems that Bitcoiners have become highly political.
“It has become very apparent to us and to all of you that Congress could screw this up.” Lummis said addressing the Bitcoin 2022 crowd. “And so we tried to move quickly and come up with legislation even though we would have preferred to do more education for a while.”
Lummis became ecstatic when she discussed new members of congress joining her push for smart legislation for bitcoin.
“Just a month ago, Senator Kristen Gilibrand of New York decided to take an interest in this bill and she got into it,” Lummis said. “It’s so fabulous.”
As more politicians become more knowledgeable about bitcoin, Santori asked what the latest developments towards a US central bank (CBDC) digital currency might be.
“Not many people think about it and for a long time it was just trying to weigh the pros and cons,” Lummis replied. “But one of the things that helps define the debate is the digital yuan…It’s being used as a surveillance tool, and the US Senate is aware of that. And the Fed, by the way, is. conscious.
Lummis allayed the concerns of many onlookers by explaining that “if there is a direct-to-consumer digital product, it would be a stablecoin, as opposed to a direct-to-consumer CBDC. I think it’s a much more American way to embrace this technology, backed by the US dollar.”
Lummis then turned away from the US scene and allowed a global focus to tell the story of bitcoin.
“We had a witness [in the U.S. Senate] who was in Ukraine and we asked him, ‘Do you prefer to receive help in bitcoin or in fiat currency,’” she explained. “He said, ‘We can ask Americans to send us bitcoins today and we’ll spend them on medicine, water, food and protection the next day. We could never do that with fiat currency.'”
Bitcoin 2022 is part of the Bitcoin event series hosted by BTC Inc, the parent company of Bitcoin Magazine.