Cryptocurrency advocates could gain a home in Congress with a Senate Financial Innovation Caucus launched by Wyoming Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis and Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Tuesday.
As digital currencies dominate financial news and retail investors hop on the crypto craze, the caucus aims to examine domestic and global financial technology issues, including blockchain technology, digital assets, central bank digital currencies, and combating money laundering.
“Two of my most important jobs are keeping America safe and secure and supporting Arizona job-creation. Boosting innovation in our financial system ensures the United States remains a global economic leader while expanding job opportunities in Arizona and across the country,” Sinema said in a statement.
VOLATILE CRYPTOCURRENCIES GO MAINSTREAM AS GOLDMAN SACHS DECLARES BITCOIN A NEW ASSET CLASS
Lummis is a longtime advocate of Bitcoin. Earlier this year, her campaign Twitter account joined a pro-Bitcoin meme #LaserRayUntil100K anticipating the value per Bitcoin shooting up to $100,000, in which she added “laser eyes” to her profile picture.
On CNBC Tuesday morning, which now shows a Bitcoin value ticker on-screen alongside the Dow, Lummis said that Bitcoin “represents a store of value like gold.”
“It is going to be something that will allow people of all means, age groups, and individuals to save and have something that will store value for the long term — unlike the U.S. dollar, which we’re spending so massively, as you pointed out, that we’re debasing the value of the U.S. dollar,” Lummis said.
Another area that the caucus could explore is forming a digital version of the dollar, pointing out that China just created a digital currency.
“It’s important that we have a digital dollar to go with a digital yuan and other currency issued by fiat because we need to keep the dollar the world reserve currency,” Lummis said. “China is trying to threaten us in this world financial sector, so it is very important that we be current, that we be ahead of the game and provide opportunity for the U.S. dollar to remain strong and the digital currency of the world.”
The aim of the caucus, she said, is to explore digital financial regulation issues and scenarios, such as the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack that demanded a ransom be paid in Bitcoin, before legislating on issues that senators are unfamiliar with. There is a question, the CNBC host noted, whether Bitcoin’s very structure can exist if it is regulated.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
“What we need to do is make sure that we’re addressing consumer protection at the same time as we’re providing this regulatory sandbox,” she said.
Several other senators from both parties joined the caucus on Tuesday, including Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and Mike Braun of Indiana, along with Democratic Sen. John Hickenlooper.