Showing posts with label congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label congress. Show all posts

It's Election Day in the USA - Why No Election Has Ever MATTERED MORE for Crypto Traders and Industry...

US Election 2022 and Crypto

It's election day in America, for those unfamiliar with US politics, this one is a 'mid term' - no new President will be selected, but seats in virtually all other elected rolls are up for grabs.

All 435 members of the House of Representatives and 34 senators are running.  According to media reports, political action committees and bitcoin lobbyists have contributed millions of dollars to candidates races.

As of two weeks ago, crypto-related donors had given more money than the traditional big election spenders - surpassing both defense and big pharma.

The industry expected 2022 would be the year policymakers came up with a plan for regulating crypto - that didn't happen...

Unresolved policy disputes between lawmakers and lobbyists left this unfinished, as Congressmembers and Senators left Washington DC until the new year.

That means those elected today are virtually guaranteed to be the ones voting on crypto regulation in the near future.

Crypto becomes a mainstream topic for voters...

According to a poll by Grayscale early October, 38% of voters said candidates "crypto policy positions" mattered to them when deciding who to vote for. 

Another poll by the Crypto Council for Innovation, taken around the same time, had 45% of voters agreeing that lawmakers should "treat crypto as a serious and valid part of the economy."

The ideal outcome for crypto...

Most crypto traders want a Republican majority in either or both chambers, since Republicans have been some of their most loyal supporters in the past.

The Republicans have also indicated the willingness to move bills that many in the industry say create a reasonable regulated environment, where protections for investors can be implemented without slowing down the progress of a fast growing industry.

"We believe crypto is one of the few sectors we follow where the midterms will have a material impact on policy. Republicans tend to be more accepting of fewer limits on crypto products because they are decentralized and different - We believe a GOP sweep of the midterm elections would be the best outcome for crypto" said Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at financial services company Cowen.

Generally favoring less government involvement in free markets, Republicans would also likely put pressure on agencies like the SEC stop over-aggressive regulation of crypto firms and seek reasonable regulation aimed at protecting investors.

A history of bipartisan support...

While crypto does have a history of finding supporters from both major parties, many see the Democrats as 'dropping the ball'.  Some expressed the desire for what sounded like reasonable solutions to the regulation issues, some even co-authored bills with Republicans. 

But at the end of the day, they had 2 years where they held most of the power, and nothing was accomplished.

Then, with some opinions from members of the Biden administration that sounded like they don't understand the basics of what crypto is, many who consider crypto an important issue switched to a firm "Republicans only' stance this election.

The crypto industry may get their wish...

Polls are indicating that Republicans will take back the House and probably the Senate as well.  

A common prediction from crypto traders on multiple platforms right now is that a Republican win of both the House and Senate tonight could immediately trigger some market movement upward, we'll probably soon see if they're correct.

Author: Ross Davis
Silicon Valley Newsroom
GCP Breaking Crypto News

Congressman Asks Difference Between 'Bitcoin, and a Sh*tcoin" - To Point Out Which One Facebook's Libra Sounds Like...

We're fans of Congressman Warren Davidson, as he's shown himself to be a leader among the alarmingly small group of lawmakers who actually understand what they're regulating when it comes to emerging tech, like cryptocurrencies. He's also the co-author of some smart, pro-economic growth cryptocurrency regulations.

Questioning CoinShares chief strategy officer Meltem Demirors he asked "A lot of people in this space will use a phrase that you may be familiar with: 'there's bitcoin, and then there's shitcoins - are you familiar with that phrase, and what people might mean by that?"

The reason for asking - to point out that Bitcoin, with no central authority, is less vulnerable to interference as no one can filter bitcoin transactions, or make unilateral decisions that would effect the entire market.

The opposite of Libra, so, I guess we know what that means.

It's Happening! US Congress Members From Both Parties Unite, Officially Submit Most Powerful Pro-Cryptocurrency Bill Of Them All!

Congress and Cryptocurrency Bills

[Updated May 20] - As the reporter who broke the story months ago (read "Exclusive: US Congress members to submit major pro-cryptocurrency bill" article here) I've been following the progress of the Token Taxonomy Act closely - it's a bill that solves the regulatory uncertainty issue once and for all, and that has huge implications for the market.

Those plans we shared months ago, just went into action! The bill is officially submitted to Congress, and the first step of becoming law is now underway.

For those catching up, here's everything you need to to know:

"...the bill would implement the one vital and important change the markets truly need for a full-on comeback, by giving tokens their proper legal classification, and thus allow US citizens once again to have the freedom to fully participle in the markets.

In the US cryptocurrencies are being legally classified 'securities' so oversight of them goes to the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The Token Taxonomy Act takes this on directly and removes the 'security' classification, and the SEC oversight."

To understand why this is so important, you need to understand how awful the current regulatory situation is:

"Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are often mentioned alongside Artificial Intelligence and IOT technology as the 'cutting edge' tech of our time - but cryptocurrency is the only one being held back by government regulations written in the 1940's.

While cryptocurrencies are intended to be freely exchanged, the laws surrounding them are so outdated they were written for the stock market at a time when stocks were traded on paper certificates.  In fact, the hot new technology when these regulations were written - color TV."

Not just something nice for crypto traders - the US has suffered some real economic damage in the meantime:

"Companies involved in the cryptocurrency space that began in the US packed up and left, taking the jobs with them.  When a company leaves - no more tax revenue for the state and federal government either. 

No one wanted to risk building something that could be torn down the next day - even if they conducted honest ethical business. The law meant that a company based around a cryptocurrency could still be shut down - simply for existing as an 'unlicensed security'."

It's always important to note the following, because if there is an attack on the bill it will be from this angle - but it does NOT make things easier for scammers and fraudulent ICOs. Fraud is illegal, lying to investors is illegal - this does not change if cryptocurrencies are no longer classified as a security.

The only change we imagine in this regard is that the CFTC would likely be the agency pressing these fraud charges instead of the SEC - as crypto changes from a security and to a commodity.

Now the next big question is - will it pass?

I believe YES, it will - I've outlined in depth why it looks like this bill will be met with approval at every step of the process in another report titled "Why the new pro-cryptocurrency bills WILL PASS and become law..." you can read that here.

Next we can expect Congressional committees will examine the bill in depth, suggest possible amendments, then it goes up for a vote.  This process can take weeks or months, depending on the levels of support or opposition.

You can find the full bill online here.

Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk

US Secret Service warns Congress about privacy coins - here's what you need to know...

Robert Novy, the Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Investigations for the United States Secret Service gave prepared testimony to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance.

Those prepared statements, just posted to the US House Of Representatives website (link) show they are becoming increasingly concerned about the use of cryptocurrency in illicit acts, stating:

"In recent years, criminals have increasingly used digital currencies to facilitate illicit activities onthe Internet. Digital currencies provide an efficient means of transferring large values globally, for both legitimate and criminal purposes."

Novy then listed the following reasons why 'criminals prefer digital currencies' saying these ‘characteristics’ appeal to them:

1) Widespread adoption as a medium of exchange for intended criminal activities.
2) The greatest degree of anonymity.
3) Protection against theft, fraud, and lawful seizure.
4) Can be readily exchanged to and from their preferred currency.
5) The ability to quickly and confidently transfer value transnationally.

Up to this point there wasn't much we haven't heard before, same things we saw in news stories often back when the mainstream media was just learning about Bitcoin and couldn't write a report on it without mentioning the big 'Silk Road' bust - where the suspected owner of a large illegal online marketplace that used Bitcoin as it's currency was arrested.

The topic then switched to privacy coins specifically - something we haven't heard law enforcement weigh in on much before. That's when Novy took a more hardlined approach, saying:

"We should also consider additional legislative or regulatory actions to address potential challenges related to anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies, services intended to obscure transactions on blockchains (i.e. cryptocurrency tumblers or mixers) and cryptocurrency mining pools."

In my opinion - I've always found this an odd argument to make, because even with all this in mind - the most anonymous method of transferring funds has and always will be paper cash.  Even privacy coins leave behind a larger footprint than a person simply handing someone a suitcase full of cash and disappearing into the night.

Also, not every transaction someone wants to keep private is also illegal. Every day countless numbers people use cash when they're buying something that may simply be embarrassing to them - but legal nonetheless. 

Lastly - these days even credit card companies are providing a method for anonymous usage though pre-paid cards, which can be purchased in cash and readily available at gas stations and grocery stores.

It's important to remember these are simply some suggestions given to lawmakers, but this still presents possible future complications for those investing in coins like Monero or ZCash.

At least it wasn't all bad - to his credit, Assistant Director Novy does see the legitimate use cases and benefits to the public cryptocurrencies offer, adding:

"Digital currencies have the potential to support more efficient and transparent global commerce, and to enhance U.S. economic competitiveness."

Another interesting thing we learned in the testimony - since 2015 the Secret Service has sized $28 million in cryptocurrencies during criminal investigations, primarily Bitcoin.
Author: Ross Davis
E-Mail: Twitter:@RossFM
San Francisco News Desk