White House Door Cracks Open To Stablecoins; The Threat To Bipartisanship Amidst House Speaker Drama

White House door opens

Bharat Ramamurti, who was considered among crypto’s most strident critics within the White House and a member of its National Economic Council, has left and may open the door for stablecoin law.

As you may recall, negotiations on the stablecoin bill were nearly complete in July as a vote at the House Financial Services markup approached, but it’s believed Ramamurti helped undermine any support from Democratic leadership and, therefore, the White House.

Fortune’s Leo Schwartz reported this week that Lael Brainerd, head of the President’s National Economic Council, is more open to negotiations. A former House staffer with knowledge of past White House negotiations tells Schwartz,  “I one hundred percent believe that there’s more of a path forward than there was before (…) It opens the door for this to be a more methodical, realistic conversation.” Read more.

threat to bipartisanship

Rep. Wiley Nickel (D, NC) is apparently taking some heat from Republicans as the North Carolina congressmen attempts to raise money for his campaign war chest. A tweet from National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) press secretary Delanie Bomar takes issue with Nickel’s recent vote – which aligned with the entire Democratic caucus – to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R, CA) this week.

Nickel has been a member of a small group of Democratic House Financial Services (HFS) Committee members who have broken from Democratic leadership and voted “for” the stablecoin and digital asset market structure bills at the July HFS markups.

Just last week, HFS Committee Chair Patrick McHenry (R, NC) and Nickel appeared – minutes apart – at Coinbase’s “Stand With Crypto” event in Washington D.C.’s Navy Yard.

As the House Speaker drama drags on, damage to bipartisan momentum on digital assets will be something to watch.

next week

Due to the unprecedented Speaker vote, Washington will be full of members of the House of Representatives next week in spite of the scheduled recess. According to Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman, Democrat House Minority Katherine Clark (D, MA) wrote in an email to her Caucus,  “Each member of our Caucus must be physically present on the Floor for next week’s proceedings. Many of you have made tremendous sacrifices to continue to be in Washington, and these have not gone unnoticed. We understand that the uncertainty of this schedule is challenging. Any change to this expected timing will be communicated as soon as we receive it.” Needless to say, the theme is similar for majority Republican Caucus in the House.

It’s still hard to say how this interruption will affect movement on digital assets legislation, but with another government shutdown deadline looming in mid-November, there’s plenty to get in the way.

regulatory agency expertise

An opinion from Bain Capital policy executive TuongVy Le on regulatory agency expertise in crypto today caught our eye on X yesterday.

She said: “When it comes to crypto, the lack of rulemaking AND the lack of a workable registration process actually means they’re not gaining the necessary expertise in this area to warrant deference under Chevron or informed discretion under Chenery. The sort of policy analysis that takes place under rulemaking, including cost-benefit analysis and input from a variety of stakeholders, and the sort of education the staff get from engaging with registrants during the registration process, are very different from the information the agency obtains through the enforcement process, which is adversarial and piecemeal….” –  Read a bit more on X.

UK crypto

Dr. Lisa Cameron MP, a key member of the UK Parliament’s crypto caucus, said this week that “the UK won’t be ‘copying’ the EU’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation, but will instead look to embrace a ‘bespoke approach for competitiveness’ in crypto regulation,” according to Decrypt.  Speaking at Crypto Connect Digital Asset Summit (CCDAS), Cameron still spoke glowingly of MiCA and suggested the regulatory clarity is already positively impacting investment in the European Union. Read more.

defining DeFi

According to Rebecca Rettig, Polygon’s Chief Legal & Policy Officer, on X, her company has responded to a request for comment about decentralized finance (DeFi) by the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) in France. The 10-page document is here (PDF)

The submission offers helpful definitions on DeFi and its intricacies and then responds to each of the AMF’s discussion points beginning with “Permissionless versus Permissioned blockchain protocols.” See it now.

Hong Kong crypto venture

A new early state investment fund – Titan Fund” – focused on Hong Kong area blockchain technology startups has begun with $100 million in committed capital. CMCC Global said in a press release yesterday that its new fund will have “particular focus on early-stage startups operating in the blockchain verticals of infrastructure, fintech and consumer applications such as gaming, metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).” Charlie Morris, co-founder of CMCC Global, adds, “Already, a third of global blockchain deals originate out of Asia today and this is a growing trend. Our Titan Fund is well positioned to capture value in the region.” Read the release.

The CMCC website explains further about Titan: “Actively managed exposure into blockchain equity opportunities both for crypto-related projects that are directly tied to digital asset markets, and enterprise solutions that are not dependent on the success of assets like Bitcoin.” Blockworks covers the news and provides context amidst the crypto bear market – read more here.

still more tips

Can AI Save Crypto Investors – The Information

Are all crypto ATMs registered in the state? – WBNS

Opening Remarks of Commissioner Kristin N. Johnson at CFTC’s Technology and Fraud Virtual Event for World Investor Week: “The Increasing Influence of Social Media and AI Technologies in Individual Investor Decisions” – CFTC.gov

Hardware wallet vendor, Ledger, reduces workforce by 12% – Ledger