Senate Agriculture Returns To Digital Assets Today; Dems Chastised About Crenshaw Nomination

Senate Ag today

It’s been a while since Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Rostin Behnam has appeared in front of Senate Agriculture regarding digital assets. But, today’s hearing titled “Oversight of Digital Commodities” could be the start of a digital assets legislative sprint before the August recess.

Live video will be here beginning at 10 a.m. ET.

According to Politico’s Eleanor Mueller, Senate Ag “Chair Debbie Stabenow gathered committee Democrats for a private meeting Monday night to strategize on crypto legislation.” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) told Ms. Mueller later that things “went well” and she’s “optimistic.” Read more.

Senator Gillibrand is a member of Senate Ag and is keeping her proverbial foot in the door for her and Senator Cynthia Lummis’ (R, WY) “Responsible Financial Innovation Act” (RFIA) [S.2281] which may or may not be a part of whatever digital assets legislation Chair Stabenow is cooking up.

what you should know: Rumors abound of a new iteration of Chair Stabenow’s and Ranking Member John Boozman (R, AR) “Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act” (DCCPA) [S.4760] –but without the FTX baggage.

No doubt Stabenow’s former staff counsel – Chair Behnam – is *in* on whatever next steps may be. Politico notes that Ranking Member Boozman hasn’t seen whatever Stabenow is working on which raises the question: How serious is this presumed legislative effort especially considering the dwindling schedule and divided Congress? Or, is this more about shining a positive light on congressional Democrats with pro-crypto voters (and donations!) who have previously viewed Democrats and Democratic leadership, in particular, as anti-crypto?

SAB 121 – override today

Late yesterday, the override vote for the President’s veto of  H.J.R. 109 which rescinds the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121) appeared on Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s (R, LA) daily schedule.

Fox Business’ Eleanor Terrett reports that according to her sources the resolution “will not muster the necessary two thirds majority in the House to override Biden’s veto of the joint resolution known as H.J. Res.109.” Read more.

The SEC’s bulletin is responsible for keeping traditional finance from crypto custody by creating egregious rules around reserves.

SAB 121 – Senator Hagerty

Senator Bill Hagerty (R, TN), who has been very outspoken in his support of crypto regulation recently, dared House Democrats to vote against the SAB 121 House resolution – and support the President’s veto – on X yesterday.

“This vote will reveal your elected officials’ true stance on crypto. The last vote was pre-determined given Biden’s veto threat – this time it is live. Pro-innovation Republicans have made our stance clear—will Democrats have the courage to join us?,” said Sen. Hagerty. See the tweet.

what you should know: As we also noted yesterday, Senator Hagerty is on Senate Banking and given his tone on X regarding SAB 121 yesterday, it seems likely he will challenge SEC Commissioner Crenshaw at her re-nomination hearing tomorrow.  Commissioner Crenshaw delivered a blistering dissent on the Commission’s Bitcoin ETF approval back in January.

Uniswap Labs swats SEC

Uniswap Labs chief legal officer Katharine Minarik announced on X that her company had filed a letter with the SEC yesterday citing the recent Supreme Court “Chevron Deference” decision and that now the SEC has no basis for the recent rulemaking which “would dramatically and improperly expand the definition of an ‘exchange’ to include DeFi and more.”

Ms. Minarik continued, “For better or worse, the Supreme Court has rejected Chevron deference. The SEC’s proposal was flawed even with that deference — and it’s all the more so under today’s standard.” Read the letter.

The SEC had sent the company a Wells Notice in April. And then, the company responded in May.

Thus far, Uniswap Labs has yet to see a complaint delivered by the regulator.

Yellen hearing

Yesterday’s House Financial Services (HFS) hearing with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen yielded a couple of digital assets sound bites.  HFS vice chair French Hill (R, AR) asked the Secrtary about the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s responsibility on bringing together the SEC and CFTC together for a digital assets framework that would presumably bring stability.

Later on X, Rep. Hill posted a video of the interaction and said, “[Secretary Yelled] admitted that she’s not quarterbacking between the [SEC] and
[CFTC] on crypto regulation, yet it’s her job to lead the team as head of FSOC.[The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act] passed the House with strong bipartisan support – it’s time to get it across the finish line.” See the video.

Also at the hearing, perhaps teasing an override vote sometime this week, Rep. Wiley Nickel (D, NC) echoed concerns by Rep. Mike Flood (R, NE) regarding the instability that the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121) brought to digital assets and the financial system. See a clip via Digital Chamber’s Taylor Barr on X.

Rep. Flood is the sponsor of the resolution [H.J.R.109] rescinding SAB 121. Rep. Nickel is a co-sponsor.

Complete video of the hearing is on YouTube.

Dems – Rep. Khanna event

So far, it’s remained top secret who exactly is representing the White House at today’s blockchain roundtable hosted by Rep. Ro Khanna (D, CA) somewhere in Washington D.C.

The Congressman is apparently herding the digital assets community and the White House together to make the pro-crypto, Democratic case  – especially in light of former President Donald Trump‘s embrace of crypto.

Blockchain Association’s Dan Spuller spilled the beans on some of the attendees in a tweet yesterday, “The [Blockchain Association] has been asked to participate in a high-level discussion at [WhiteHouse] organized by [Rep Ro Khanna], bringing together the two lead nat’l trade associations, BA + [Crypto Council for Innovation], select leaders in the [crypto] industry,  Mark Cuban, Dem lawmakers & Biden Admin…” Read more about the attendees from Spuller on X.

Also on X – read Kraken chief legal officer Marco Santori‘s reasons for going to the event.

what you should know: blockchain tipsheet was not invited.

Senate Dems – Crenshaw

On the cusp of tomorrow’s nomination hearing, some in industry took to X to chastise Senate Democrats for not being more vocal or questioning of the re-nomination of SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw, who is also a Democrat.

Katie Bieber, who is chief legal officer at venture firm Paradigm, lit the fuse yesterday tweeting, “Why is anti-crypto SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw poised for re-confirmation without even a peep from the Senate?”

She continued, “For all the Dem talk about lawlessness these days following the SCOTUS decision on presidential immunity, it’s perplexing they would confirm a Commissioner who thumbed her nose at the DC Circuit and wrote a vehement dissent on the SEC’s [required] spot BTC ETF approval.” Read the entire thread.

Later, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong re-tweeted Ms. Biber’s assertions and commented, “Well said.”

Commissioner Crenshaw’s re-nomination hearing is tomorrow.


Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on the future of crypto (podcast w/transcript) – WSJ

Senator Bitcoin

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R, TN) announced on X yesterday that her campaign would begin accepting Bitcoin donations which echoes former President Donald Trump’s similar moves for eliciting campaign contributions.

Sen. Blackburn said on X, “Our campaign is committed to meeting supporters where they are. As a growing number of Americans utilize digital currencies for everyday transactions, we are excited to begin accepting crypto donations!” See the tweet.

Later this month, along with Sen. Bill Hagerty (R, TN), Sen. Blackburn will appear at the big Bitcoin 2024 conference in Nashville, which takes place from July 25-27.

Ether ETF update

What Still Needs to Happen Before Spot Ether ETFs Can Trade – CoinDesk

use case – gaming

Gaming remains a use case that blockchain technology proponents see as a key source of growth in the future. Yesterday, Infinite Reality, which works with “metaverse-like technologies” for games announced that raised $350 million and acquired Roblox game developer Landvault for $450 million.” Read more in VentureBeat.

The company’s valuation has soared to $5.1 billion in just 5 years according to a press release. Read it.

The company reports Mastercard, Standard Chartered and Hershey among its metaverse product clients and is based in Norwalk, CT.

still more tips

Crypto payment startup Kulipa partners with Mastercard and Argent on debit card – The Block

Former FTX execs, government witnesses to be sentenced this fall – Blockworks

Solana memecoin trader whiffs on $5m BODEN opportunity right before token surges amid Biden letter – DL News

CFTC Commissioner Caroline Pham: America has been stuck in crypto ‘vacuum’ (June 27) – Fox Business