The Biden administration has just passed an executive order to promote research into crypto assets with a view to regulating them, but politicians within the ruling Democratic party remain deeply divided over digital currencies.
The lack of consensus among Democrats could mean that a progressive regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies could still be a long way off, but also makes it more likely that the final regulation won’t be too strict thanks to the work of crypto-friendly representatives. The crypto community is familiar with the names that crop up time and again in the digital asset debate.
On one side you have fiercely anti-crypto politicians like Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, and in the pro-innovation camp are Democratic Congressmen Ritchie Torres and Jim Himes.
The division runs deep and political wrangling could further delay any regulatory processes in the United States.
Senator Warren recently passed a bill to restrict crypto exchanges to prevent digital assets from being used for sanctions evasion. However, it has become common knowledge that Russia will not switch to cryptocurrencies to evade sanctions, even though individual Russians do.
Warren continues her war on crypto with letters to the Treasury urging further crackdown on the industry. According to reportsshe recently criticized the banking system and added reference crypto:
“Replacing an unregulated, unverified system in which scammers and impostors and terrorists mingle with ordinary consumers, and no one can see who is on the other side of a transaction, is not a safe replacement.”
Fortunately, several Democratic lawmakers favor the crypto industry and the innovation it will bring to the US financial system. One of those policymakers is New York Representative Ritchie Torres, who said “the project to radically decentralize the internet and finances seems to me to be a very progressive thing,” before adding:
“You should never define technology by its worst uses… Crypto is more than ransomware, just as money is more than money laundering.”
Related: Biden’s Executive Order Promises Great Things for the Crypto Industry – Ultimately
Democrat Josh Gottheimer, who represents New Jersey, has pushed plans to regulate cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. Last month he presented the Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Actin which he stated at the time that the “expansion of cryptocurrency offers tremendous potential value to our economy.”
Four Democrats put their names in a bipartisan letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 16. Gottheimer and Torres, of course, signed along with Florida Representative Darren Soto and Massachusetts Congressman Jake Auchincloss.
Republican Congressman Tom Emmer drafted the letter, which was also signed by three other Republicans, and addressed the issue of overburdening crypto firms with excessive reporting requests and increased oversight of the industry by the agency.