Senate Takes On Crypto Mining; Rep. Waters Says It’s Time For Legislation

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Senate mining hearing

Today’s hearing on crypto mining will take place under the auspices of the Environment and Public Works’ Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate and Nuclear Safety led by Chair Sen. Ed Markey (D, MA). The Senate hearing is in support of Markey’s newly-reintroduced legislation, the “Crypto-Asset Environmental Transparency Act of 2023.”

Politico reports that the legislation would require the “EPA to investigate the [crypto] industry’s environmental impacts” among other elements of the bill. Read more. Rep. Jared Huffman (D, CA) is leading the legislative charge in the House. See the witnesses for today’s hearing here which starts at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Democrat urges legislation

In an interview with CoinTelegraph, Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters (D, CA), states her interest in getting crypto legislation done in the 118th Congress. She says, “The world is moving on crypto: different countries, different things we still have to think about… I do believe that […] it has to be a priority of ours.” Read more. Waters adds that she’s “still optimistic” on stablecoin legislation, too.

Tip: Waters is only the second Democrat in Congress – after Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D, NY) – to say something “pro-crypto-legislation” this year.

passing crypto law

Punchbowl News reported out results of a survey of congressional staffers on crypto yesterday. Punchbowl’s Brendan Pedersen reports, “A bipartisan majority of staffers think Congress will pass crypto legislation this year, but the House is more bullish than the Senate. A total of 44% of Democrats and 40% of Republicans surveyed said a bill will likely pass this year…” Read more.

Chamber of Digital Commerce’s Cody Carbone responded on Twitter, “Surprising how optimistic staffers are that bipartisan legislation can pass [a] divided Congress.”


Acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu spoke to an Intstitute of International Bankers audience at their annual Washington Conference yesterday. Hsu delivered prepared remarks (PDF) that centered around a comparison of the failure of Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in 1991 to the implosion of cryptocurrency exchange FTX.

The OCC’s Hsu says, “The supervisability risks revealed by the rise of BCCI led to significant enhancements in supervisory collaboration over internationally active banks.” Will FTX spur a new “supervisability” regime?

Hsu teases his ideas in an OCC press release: “To be trustworthy, global crypto firms need a lead regulator who has authority and responsibility over the enterprise as a whole. (…) Until that is done, crypto firms with subsidiaries and operations in multiple jurisdictions will be able to arbitrage local regulations…” Read the release, too.

hotel california

Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler is often quoted saying that crypto companies should “come in” and “register” before its too late. But does anyone really get registered once they set foot inside the Commission?

Fox Business reporter Eleanor Terrett tweeted the answer on February 28: “5 companies registered as a result of settlements under [former SEC Chair Jay] Clayton. No companies have registered under Gensler.

Yesterday, Axios followed up with some research of its own on the limited list of recently registered companies and it remains… limited. Axios reporter Brady Dale concludes, “If compliance is a strategy for success, entrepreneurs will do it – but they get into business to succeed, not to comply.” Read more.

consumer blockchain technology

Is there a new digital assets trade association in town? The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has thrown its weight behind the blockchain industry in its response to the White House Office on Technology Policy’s request for input on a digital assets R&D strategy. “As Web 3.0 technologies evolve and become more widespread, their decentralization will ensconce them in the international environment. International trade agreements will affect the pace and scale of deployment of digital asset technologies worldwide. For this reason, it is in the national interest of the United States…,” say CTA executives. Read more.

Senator Cruz

The Houston Chronicle profiles Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and his interest in cryptocurrency. Although the Senator refused to comment for the article, Blockchain Association government relations director Ron Hammond, also a Texan, provides some insight: “[Senator Cruz’] approach has been high level instead of getting into the weeds… He isn’t on the relevant committees. Largely, his interest seems more about political ideology.” Read more (subscription).

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