Policies

CFTC commissioner appoints senior policy adviser experienced in digital asset regulation

In a Friday announcement, Pham said Keaghan Ames will be her counselor and senior policy adviser at the CFTC starting May 23. Ames worked at Credit Suisse for more than two years as vice president and head of U.S. regulatory policy, which included advising executives on digital assets regulation. He will be joining the CFTC from the Institute of International Bankers, where he has been the director of government affairs since July 2021. Sworn in as a commissioner in April, Pham is one of five heads serving at the CFTC under chair Rostin Behnam — all of whom were appointed by United States President Joe Biden. Pham is the latest commissioner to join the CFTC following the confirmation of Christy Goldsmith Romero, Summer Mersinger and Kristin Johnson. NEWS: CFTC Commissioner Pham Announces A...

Utah Governor approves of blockchain and digital innovation task force

After nearly a three-year-long discussion about establishing a task force to oversee blockchain and crypto initiatives, the governor of Utah, Spencer Cox, signed a bill to create the Blockchain and Digital Innovation Task Force. The Utah State Legislature first saw the introduction of the house bill (H.B. 335) in early February 2022, which took nearly two months to pass through several senates, house and fiscal actions before finally being signed by Governor Cox on March 24. Some of the primary duties assigned to the task force involve making policy recommendations related to blockchain and related technologies. A part of the bill reads: “[The task force shall] develop and introduce recommendations regarding policy pertaining to the promotion in the state of the adoption of blockchain, fin...

US Senate confirms Lael Brainard as Fed vice chair

After weeks of delays due,  in part, to partisan obstructionism, the United States Senate has confirmed the nomination of Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, as the next vice chair of the central bank. In a 52–43 vote on the Senate floor on Tuesday, U.S. lawmakers confirmed Brainard a vice chair of the Federal Reserve for four years, potentially beyond her term as a governor ending in January 2026. Brainard was one of four nominees waiting for approval since Republican lawmakers in the Senate Banking Committee boycotted a February committee, which would have sent the prospective Fed vice chair’s nomination to the full Senate. In addition to Brainard, the Senate will likely soon vote on the nominations of prospective Fed chair Jerome Powell, who h...

President Biden announces former Ripple adviser as pick for Fed vice chair for supervision

Following the withdrawal of former Federal Reserve Board governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, United States President Joe Biden has announced his intention to nominate former Obama administration official and law professor Michael Barr as the central bank’s vice chair for supervision. In a Friday announcement, the White House said Barr was Biden’s pick to supervise the Federal Reserve and set the regulatory agenda for its leadership. Barr was on the advisory board of Ripple Labs from 2015 to 2017, served as the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for financial institutions under former President Barack Obama, and taught courses on financial regulation at the University of Michigan. According to the White House, he was “a key architect” of the Dodd-Frank Act — legislation that continues to in...

Former US Senator and House member joins Crypto Council for Innovation

Cory Gardner, who served as a United States senator for Colorado from 2015 to 2021, has joined the Crypto Council for Innovation, a crypto advocacy group aimed at establishing dialogues with governments and regulatory agencies on the benefits of digital assets. In a Thursday announcement, the Crypto Council for Innovation, or CCI, said Gardner was one of three new members to join the group’s leadership team. Under CEO Sheila Warren, the former senator will work alongside Amanda Russo, a communicators adviser for the World Economic Forum, and Annie Dizon, a former executive with social impact nonprofit TechSoup. In addition, Katherine Wu, a venture partner at Archetype, will become CCI’s first research fellow, while former Algorand Foundation CEO Sean Lee joined the group to help buil...

Fossils vs. Renewables, PoW vs. PoS: Key policy issues around crypto mining in the U.S.

On Jan. 27, a group of eight U.S. lawmakers, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, sent letters to the world’s six largest Bitcoin mining companies, demanding to reveal the detailed data on their electricity consumption. This isn’t the first time Senator Warren requested this information from a mining operation — last month a similar letter was sent to Greenidge Generation, which uses a natural gas plant to power its facility. These moves highlight the increasing regulatory pressure on crypto mining businesses in the United States. But, as last week’s Congress hearing showed, the growing scrutiny might turn out to be an opportunity to align the mining sector’s development with the broader political push for clean energy. Here are some of the key themes around crypto mining that have captured th...

President Biden taps economists for Fed governors’ seats, Sarah Bloom Raskin as vice chair for supervision

The White House has officially tapped former Fed governor Sarah Bloom Raskin to serve as the vice chair for supervision for the Federal Reserve, as well as economists Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson to fill two empty seats on its board of governors. In a Friday announcement, U.S. President Joe Biden said he had nominated Cook, an Obama-era economic adviser and Michigan State University faculty member, as well as Jefferson, a former research economist for the Fed, to the board of governors in addition to Raskin. Jefferson and Cook will take two of the vacant seats in the group of seven governors, with Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard nominated to serve as chair and vice-chair, respectively. According to the president, the three nominees have the “experience, judgment and integrity to lead the...

ConstitutionDAO, a ‘crypto red alert’ and other cases of crypto-powered social action in 2021

From the very beginning of the cryptocurrency movement, the societal potential of Bitcoin (BTC) has been one of the fundamental selling points. The decentralized design of crypto-based systems introduces the possibility of bringing individuals together to work toward shared goals, as well as enabling them to pool resources while remaining insulated from outside control. 2021 saw a number of cases that could serve as evidence of this emancipatory power of digital assets. ConstitutionDAO: $49 million raised in a few days Arguably, the most high-profile case of a massive fundraising effort enabled by a decentralized autonomous organization in 2021 was ConstitutionDAO. The group was formed in November with the sole objective of purchasing an original copy of the United States Constitution, whi...

JAMB boss lists major challenges

Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) said malpractice and indiscipline are some of the board’s major challenges yet to be fully addressed. The Registrar made this known when members of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education visited the board’s headquarters in Bwari, Abuja on Monday. Oloyede said that the challenges, unfortunately, were mostly with regards to parents trying to bend the system by all means and get their wards or children into schools, irrespective of their performance. “Our challenge remains examination malpractice, especially with regards to parents who keep calling me to favour their wards or children whether they meet the requirements of the system or not. “There’s also indiscipline from the tertiary institutions...

President Buhari: Nigerian government to implement policies that will tackle Niger Delta challenges

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his administration’s desire to implement genuine policies that would help in tackling problems affecting the Niger Delta region to make life more meaningful to the people. Buhari gave the assurance during the commissioning and handing over of the erosion control and road improvement works in Owo Local Government to the Ondo State Government. The president, who was represented by the Minister of State, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Omotayo Alasoadura, noted that the erosion control of flooded area/road project was one of the ecological intervention projects approved and executed by the federal government through the Ecological Fund Office, in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), for the good people of Owo an...

President Buhari orders military to crush bandits in ‘language they understand’

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday ordered the military to crush bandits operating in Zamfara and Kaduna in the language they understand. The president condemned repeated bandit killings in Zamfara and Kaduna States, urging the nation’s military to respond to the worrying situation in a language that the bandits understood. Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu noted that the military and other security agencies were now working on new methods and policies that are yielding good results in many of the troubled parts of the country. He called for a crushing response to the killing of innocent citizens in the rural communities. Buhari also averred that the nation, its military and the entire population needed to summon the courage required to defeat the bandits and ...

PIB: Ijaw leaders reject ‘disgusting, provocative’ bill

The leadership of the Ijaw nation has rejected the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) just passed into law by the National Assembly describing it as disgusting and provocative. The leaders also called on the Minister of State for Petroluem Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, to use this opportunity to write his name in gold, and on the side of prosperity by standing firm with the Ijaw people against their oppressors. President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), the umbrella body of the Ijaw people, Prof Benjamin Okaba in a packed press conference, he addressed at the Ijaw House, headquarters of INC in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, declared that the Ijaw nation rejects in its entirety the 3% and 5% provisions as compensation, the redefinition of host communities and other provisions including the alloca...

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