Crypto Votes In Maryland Senate Race; Rep. Nickel Wants To Save Joe Biden On Digital Assets

pro-crypto platform wins?

On Tuesday, in a Democratic primary battle for the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Sen. Ben Cardin in Maryland, Angela Alsobrooks trounced three-term Congressman Rep. David Trone by 12 points. She’ll meet former Maryland governor Larry Hogan in November. Read more.

Did crypto have an impact on the results?

Back in March, Politico chronicled the pro-crypto inclinations of both Alsobrooks and Trone and the potential influence of the crypto lobby in the race. See more.

But, Rep. Trone took what could be described as an “anti-crypto” stance last week by following Democratic leadership and it may have cost him. He voted against the House resolution which rescinded the SEC’s SAB 121. Trone had been leading the race just a month ago according to polls.

Consequently on Tuesday night, digital asset supporters on X were quick to proclaim Alsobrooks’ triumph a victory for the pro-crypto POV.

what you should know: There is no sign of spending by crypto lobbies on the Maryland Senate race –yet. See

letter – saving Joe Biden

A new Congressional letter from North Carolina Democrat Rep. Wiley Nickel asks Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler to withdraw the regulator’s controversial guidance Staff Accounting Bulletin 121. SAB 121 and the custody of crypto.

See the letter.

Nickel’s reasoning for the withdrawal is novel.

Addressing his fellow Democrat, Nickel tells Gensler: “Acting now to withdraw SAB121, before it passes in the Senate, to allow for the custodial banking of digital assets would be a positive step toward a balanced regulatory approach to cryptocurrency.” Nickel adds that it would save the President from having to “choose sides on an issue that matters to many Americans.”

Are former President Trump’s supportive comments on crypto last week giving some Dems concerns?

Also last week, Rep. Nickel co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 109 [H.J.R.109] rescinding SAB 121 which passed on the House floor and awaits a vote in the Senate. Nickel predicts the resolution will pass with “bipartisan” support in the Senate in the letter.

more tips:

what you should know: Comments on Sunday made by Hayden Adams, CEO of cryptocurrency platform Uniswap, also had that “Saving Joe Biden” flavor as the Uniswap leader may have showed that he’s a Democrat at heart. He tweeted in part: “Republicans smell blood in the water and are turning hard towards crypto. Not much time for Biden to save it. Any one close to him or dem leadership should be expressing how serious this is and pushing for immediate reversal on his approach to crypto (public support/plan and reigning in sec + warren).”

letter – Obama v. Biden

Arguably, Rep. Nickel represents the Barack Obama side of the Democratic party (Nickel worked as an Obama campaign staffer) which appears more open to digital assets than the Biden side represented by the positions of Chair Gensler and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA).

Although not a perfect comparison (Obama versus Biden), Nickel’s views are reminiscent of New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne Harris who worked in Treasury and then moved on to become a special assistant for economic policy to President Obama at the White House National Economic Council during the Obama Administration.

Since Harris’ appointment in 2022, she has been “pro-crypto” for a Democrat – a strong advocate for dual banking as it relates to stablecoins and also supportive of a customized approach to digital assets regulation that promotes innovation while providing guardrails and consumer protections.

what you should know: Nickel’s machinations have an eye toward the future and running for Sen. Thom Tillis’ (R, NC) seat in 2026. By then, having a long-standing, pro-digital assets stance could clearly be the way to go and differentiate the candidate – or at least that’s Rep. Nickel’s gambit.

summit highlights – Gillibrand

At the Digital Chamber’s DC Blockchain Summit yesterday, highlights included Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) telling the pro-crypto audience that she thinks there are around 60 votes across Senate Democrats and Republicans who support the upcoming S.J.Res.59 which rescinds SAB 121. (The vote is today.)

summit highlights – Hill

Also, House Financial Services Vice Chair French Hill (R, AR) participated in a fireside chat detailing his expectations for support of the digital asset market structure bill known as “Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21 Century Act” or FIT 21 [H.R.4763].

Hill told Digital Chamber’s Cody Carbone, “…I’m optimistic and I expect strong Democratic support. It’s almost generational. Younger Democrats recognizing the need for innovation, technological leadership, the decentralized nature of reducing friction, reducing agency costs that are embedded in financial services in and around using blockchain and a digital approach -I think they see that. And so I think they’re more biased that this should be a ‘yes.'”

Rep. Hill continued, “And then on behalf of the Biden administration, they should be in favor of this because they had their own executive order encouraging a statutory – meaning legislative – solution to closing gaps in the oversight of the digital, financial services space. 21 Democrats voted last week in favor of, as you say, the joint resolution on custody. And so I view that as a base case. I think we can get more Democrats to support FIT for the 21st century, because you were asking those Democrats last week to vote ‘no’ against the Biden administration.”

what you should know: Rep. Hill’s point appears to be that President Biden has not come out against FIT 21 like he did against the joint resolution rescinding SAB 121. Therefore, Democrats are more likely to vote for FIT 21 – particularly the younger generation of Dems.

why stablecoins

Interview: Former House Speaker Paul Ryan says that stablecoin legislation could help with improve demand for U.S. bonds and the U.S. dollar (video) – Bloomberg (via @nic__carter on X)

blockchain bills – Rep. Soto 

On Tuesday, Rep. Darren Soto’s (D, FL) blockchain study bill [H.R.4814]  – the Consumer Safety Technology Act which includes several component bills including the “Digital Taxonomy Act” which instructs “the Secretary of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission to study and report on the use of blockchain technology and tokens.”

Listed “findings” precipitating the need for the bill include “the use of tokens and blockchain technology is likely to increase in the future; [and] the Federal Trade Commission is responsible for protecting consumers from unfair or deceptive acts or practices, including relating to tokens…”

Guided by House Energy & Commerce Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Gus Bilirakis (R, FL), the Chair said on the House Floor Tuesday, “These bills aren’t high profile bills, but they are very important. They affect our constituents directly, and we have to stay ahead of the crooks.” The bipartisan bill was agreed to without objection and passed by voice vote.

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blockchain bills – Rep. Bucshon

Also on Tuesday, Rep. Larry Bucshon’s (R, IN) two House Energy & Commerce bills focused on blockchain technology – “Promoting Resilient Supply Chains Act” (H.R. 6571) and “Deploying American Blockchains Act” (H.R. 6572) – also passed the House Floor by voice vote.

In discussing the intricacies of the bills earlier this year, Rep. Bucshon correctly predicted a suspension vote in an interview with blockchain tipsheet – read more here.

House Energy & Commerce (E&C) Ranking Member Frank Pallone (D, NJ) said Tuesday on the Floor regarding the “Promoting Resilient Supply Chains Act,” which is also co-sponsored by Rep. Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D, DE):

“This act to promote resilience in the supply chain is obviously very important in what we learned, the lessons we learned from the COVID pandemic. I would urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the legislation…”

Read the Congressional record.

Also on the House Floor, E&C Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Bilirakis framed the need for the “Deploying American Blockchains Act”: “In 2015, 40 percent of blockchain developers were based in the United States. In 2022, that number was just 29 percent and dropping. Our share continues to dwindle.”

Bilirakis continued: “‘The Deploying American Blockchains Act’ will help rectify this trend by requiring the Secretary of Commerce to create a program to help promote the competitiveness of the United States in the deployment, use, and application of blockchains. Instead of pushing American innovators abroad, the Department of Commerce should work with American innovators to build their products here.” Read the Congressional record.

what you should know: Next steps for Reps. Bucshon and Soto’s bills would appear to be a future must-pass on which the study bill could be tacked on and the Senate could engage. These are bipartisan, unanimously-supported bills.

crime blotter

Two Brothers Arrested For Attacking The Ethereum Blockchain And Stealing $25 Million In Cryptocurrency – Department of Justice

new co-sponsors

Rep. Zach Nunn’s (R, IA)  “Creating Legal Accountability for Rogue Innovators and Technology Act”  or “CLARITY Act [H.R.6307]  has added Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D, NJ) as a new co-sponsor to his bipartisan list of six Members supporting the measure aimed at defending “against the economic and national security risks posed by foreign adversarial blockchain networks…” Read the text.

Originally introduced last November, the bill specifically targets the use of China’s blockchain networks by the federal government. Read that release.

what you should know: Rep. Nunn also has the “Financial Technology Protection Act” [H.R.2969] bubbling on the House Floor for a potential vote. The same bill is being driven by the legislation’s originator, Senator Ted Budd (R, NC), in the Senate.

still more tips

Trump became country’s ‘first crypto president’ during first year in office, former CFTC regulator says – Fox Business

Letter to the SEC: The SEC Must Not Endanger Retail Investors By Approving Spot Ether ETPs – Better Markets

NPR Digs into CBDCs – Cato Institute

El Salvador mined nearly 474 bitcoins, adding to state crypto holding, in last three years – Reuters

McHenry bashes FDIC chief for ‘hubris’ in attending hearing despite calls to resign – The Hill