Rep. Khanna Brings Biden Administration To Digital Assets Stage; More Campaign Funds For ‘Light Touch Regulation’

Administration joins crypto

A representative from the Biden Administration is scheduled to join an upcoming panel discussion with Mark Cuban according to Bitcoin Magazine, yet another indication that the Administration is looking to “make nice” with crypto and its voters.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D, CA) is spearheading the effort and “is set to host a Bitcoin and blockchain roundtable in Washington D.C. in early July, according to a private email sent by Khanna’s Office,” according to Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin Magazine continues, “Khanna’s Office described the upcoming meeting as ‘the most significant meeting between policymakers and innovation leaders in blockchain to date.'”

Read about it.

what you should know: Beyond enforcement-focused Treasury officials, this is as close as the Biden Administration has come to a pro-crypto stage since White House National Security Council Director Carole House was part of the White House in 2022 and took part in Consensus.

light-touch regulation

Another story about campaign donations from crypto interests was in Bloomberg on Friday.  Titled, “Crypto Titans’ $160 Million War Chest Threatens Senate Democrats,”  the piece says funds will ultimately be used to favor “light-touch regulation of the embattled industry.”  Bloomberg goes on to say that “the staggering sum makes the crypto industry one of the most influential players in federal campaign finance,” though it doesn’t say where other industries land on the campaign finance leaderboard. Read more.

In the piece, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D, MI) says she’s working on her own crypto regulation (Perhaps an updated version of the DCCPA?) and Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) supports the effort, calling it “reasonable regulation,” according to Bloomberg.

single issue voters

Doug Cifu is no fan of the regulatory agenda of the SEC and Biden Administration.  Cifu knows the agenda first hand as the CEO of Virtu Financial, one of the largest Wall Street market makers which also helps facilitate most trades by retail investors today.

In an interview with Capitol Account, he thinks regulation is now an important issue to voters and says, “The entire crypto industry, to the extent there is such a thing, has rallied for [former President Donald Trump]. There’s a guy running for Senate in Massachusetts who’s actually a pretty sensible, smart guy, against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) — just because of her anti-crypto stance. I don’t know if that [affects] 1,000 votes or 500,000 votes. I don’t know if it’s Pennsylvania, New York or wherever it is. But it’s clearly impactful…”

Cifu continues, “Secondly, it’s not necessarily market structure, but climate disclosure, the proxy advisor [rules] – all of that is really anti-business at the end of the day…I think it has turned off a lot of the business community.”

Read more from Capitol Account (subscription).

Dem leadership on Trump

House Democratic voices that have aligned with Dem leadership continue to publicly take issue with former President Donald Trump‘s new stance, and acceptance of, cryptocurrency.

On Thursday, Rep. Sean Casten (D, IL) had something to say on X about Trump and crypto. Rep. Brad Sherman (D, CA) took his turn on the House floor on Friday with a 10-minute speech.

On the floor, Sherman began by recognizing Trump’s initial reluctance about crypto in 2019 and then added: “Donald Trump got it right in 2019 because he hadn’t figured out that there was a way to get money by getting it wrong. Since then, he has flip-flopped. He has decided that he likes cryptocurrency. Why is that?”

Rep. Sherman continued, “First, he may have discovered that those who are doing crypto mining are creating enormous amounts of greenhouse gases, entire moth-balled electric plants have been taken out of mothballs. These are coal-burning plants, and the entire output is used to do highly complex calculations in order to mine cryptocurrency. That is to say, whoever does these calculations, the system gives them crypto.” Read more from Rep. Sherman.

stablecoin law -now

Following up his public comments on Bloomberg a few weeks ago, former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R, WI) took to the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal on Thursday in support of expedited stablecoin law. The piece is provacatively titled, “Crypto Could Stave Off a U.S. Debt Crisis.”

Ryan says, “A sound, predictable regulatory framework for stablecoins has bipartisan support in Congress and would help dramatically expand the use of digital dollars at a critical time. In an election year, given all the ugly politics to come, we sure could use a win.” Read it.


Stop burning investors: Crypto needs proof-of-reserves – Noah Buxton, compliance consultant, in Blockworks

Community banks are oddly silent on the looming stablecoin threat – Todd Phillips in American Banker

Do wholesale CBDCs compete with bank services? – Ledger Insights

photo op

“JUST IN: US Senator Cythina Lummis (R, WY) and Vivek Ramaswamy discussed ’embracing the tremendous potential of Bitcoin’ to ‘secure the financial future of the country'” – Bitcoin Magazine on X on Friday afternoon

enforcement – Choke Point 2.0

A new enforcement action by the Federal Reserve against Evolve Bank was announced on Friday. ” The action was required “for deficiencies in the bank’s anti-money laundering, risk management, and consumer compliance programs,” according to the Fed. See the press release.

Reuters breaks down the news a bit saying that better risk management and adherence to anti-money laundering laws need to be addressed after a 2023 review of the Evolve’s policy processes. Read more.

Crypto venture capitalist Nic Carter, who has been tracking “Choke Point 2.0” in the U.S. government, saw more of the same on Friday and shared on X, “…it’s an all out assault on banks serving embedded finance, fintech, BaaS (not to mention banks that serve crypto clients).”

Presidential candidate

The New York Times profiles independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and where he stands on a myriad of issues. The Times shines on the light on his pro-crypto inclinations: “Mr. Kennedy also champions cryptocurrency, appearing frequently at crypto events and sitting down for interviews with proponents of cryptocurrencies. He has called for ‘a regulatory infrastructure that protects against fraud, protects against predatory practices, but also makes cryptocurrencies absolutely transactional,’ saying that users should not have to pay taxes on transactions that use cryptocurrencies.” Read the profile.

you’re hired

Brett Quick, former head of government affairs for the Crypto Council for Innovation, has joined Brendan Dunn’s newly-launched firm Phronesis DC – Punchbowl News’ The Vault (subscription).

blockchain amendments

Cap Hill Crypto’s George Leonardo zeroed in on an addition [Amdt.256] to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) from Rep. Kat Cammack (R, FL) on Friday: a study bill which would “develop a working group to identify whether blockchain and smart contracts could improve functions and efficiency at the DoD.”  Read more.

Leonardo points to still another DoD-related blockchain amendment to the NDAA – Amdt. 1012 – which has a legion of bipartisan co-sponsors including Zach Nunn (R, IA), Abigail Spanberger (D, VA), Jen Kiggans (R, VA), Don Davis (D, NC), Chris Smith (R, NJ), Brad Wenstrup (R, OH). The amendment’s aim is to prevent the use of foreign adversaries’ blockchain tech by the DoD.

The final tally for the NDAA vote in the House on Friday was 217-199 in favor of passage along mostly partisan lines. Leonardo reports that Amdt. 1012 and 256 were both included in the House’s final NDAA bill.

what you should know: As Cap Hill Crypto notes, Rep. Cammack’s amendment was a part of last year’s NDAA initially. Also, Amdt.1012 is originally from Rep. Nunn’s “Creating Legal Accountability for Rogue Innovators and Technology Act” or “CLARITY Act” [H.R.6307].

still more tips

From $40 billion fraud to $4.5 billion settlement: Inside the latest crypto firm paying big bucks to end legal trouble – CNBC

Progressive Democrats Scramble to Save One of Their Stars From Defeat (“Fairshake, a cryptocurrency-focused super PAC, plans to spend $2 million” In Against Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D, NY)) – The New York Times

Binance ‘relieved’ as Nigeria drops tax charges against its executives – money-laundering charges remain – The Block