Senate

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...

Hawaii Senate committees favor task force to regulate crypto, blockchain

Two committees of the Hawaii State Legislature — Commerce and Consumer Protection (CPN) and Ways and Means (WAM) — unanimously approved the launch of a specialized task force to explore the use and regulation of the crypto ecosystem. In a letter addressed to the President of the Hawaii Senate, Ron Kouchi, legislative members Donovan Dela Cruz and Roz Baker wrote in support of creating a “Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Task Force” that was first proposed in bill SB2695. SB2695, titled “A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO CRYPTOCURRENCY,” sought to establish a task force within the Department of Budget and Finance to review and compile country-wide data on crypto and blockchain. The task force would submit findings and potential legislation back to the State Capitol — which involves providing a pla...

NY Sen. Thomas proposes to criminalize rug pulls and other crypto frauds

New York State Senator Kevin Thomas introduced a new bill amendment request to establish certain offenses related to rug pulls and other frauds related to virtual token distribution, misuse of private keys and hidden interests in crypto projects. The bill drafted by Sen. Thomas, Senate Bill S8839, calls for defining, penalizing and criminalizing frauds specifically targeted at developers and projects that intend to dupe crypto investors. A snippet of Senate Bill S8839. Source: nysenate.gov Through the bill, Thomas seeks to provide prosecutors with a clear legal framework against crypto crimes that align with the spirit of the blockchain while combatting fraud. It calls for a law amendment that will imply rug pull charges on developers that sell “more than 10% of such tokens within fiv...

US Virginia Senate allows state banks to offer crypto custody services

The Senate of Virginia in the United States unanimously approved a bill amendment request that now allows traditional banks operating in the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide virtual currency custody services.  Delegate Christopher T. Head introduced the bill (House Bill No. 263) back in January 2022, seeking an amendment to allow eligible banks to offer crypto custody services: “A bank may provide its customers with virtual currency custody services so long as the bank has 26 adequate protocols in place to effectively manage risks and comply with applicable laws.” The bill passed Senate with a sweeping 39-0 vote and is waiting to be signed into law by Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin. Banks that intend to offer this service to clients will need to adhere to three specific requir...

Early birds: U.S. legislators invested in crypto and their digital asset politics

According to some estimates, as many as 20% of Americans were invested in cryptocurrencies as of August 2021. While the exact number can vary significantly from one poll to another, it is clear that cryptocurrencies are no longer just a niche passion project for tech enthusiasts or a tool for financial speculation. Rather, digital assets have become a widespread investment vehicle with the prospect of becoming mainstream.  Optimistic as that is, this level of mass adoption still does not enjoy a commensurate political representation, with senior United States politicians largely lagging behind the curve of crypto adoption. This makes the very narrow group of congresspeople who are also hodlers particularly interesting. As a lawmaker, does owning crypto, or at least having some crypto ...

President Biden sends CFTC nominations to Senate

The White House has officially submitted President Joe Biden’s nominations to fill two seats at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission with the upcoming departure of another commissioner. In a Friday announcement, the White House said it had sent Citi managing director Caroline Pham’s and Summer Mersinger’s names to the Senate for confirmation. Mersinger previously served as chief of staff to commissioner Dawn Stump — who is expected to leave the agency this year — as well as the director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. She and Pham will be taking the places of recently departed commissioner Dan Berkovitz, whose term expires in April 2023, and that of Stump, with a term ending in April 2027, respectively. The CFTC nominations came the same week the White House...

Paraguay moves a step closer to regulating digital currency

On Dec. 17, 2021, the Senate of Paraguay approved a cryptocurrency bill introduced in July. The provisions, which define several key terms including virtual assets and call for licenses to mine cryptocurrencies, will now be sent to the Deputy Chamber for further deliberation. Senator Fernando Silva Facetti, the bill’s sponsor, revealed that it’s passed in the Paraguayan Senate after a contentious debate. According to the senator, the law also aims to foster the growth of crypto mining activities by using the surplus electricity generated in the country. (1/3) Today, after an intense debate, the Senate @SenadoresPy approved todaya New Law Project which regulates the industry and commercialization of #Crypto assets #Bitcoin #Paraguay after …(open threat) — FernandoSilv...

Crypto regulation is coming, but Bitcoin traders are still buying the dip

Looking at the Bitcoin chart from a weekly or daily perspective presents a bearish outlook and it’s clear that (BTC) price has been consistently making lower lows since hitting an all-time high at $69,000. Bitcoin/USD on FTX. Source: TradingView Curiously, the Nov. 10 price peak happened right as the United States announced that inflation has hit a 30-year high, but, the mood quickly reversed after fears related to China-based real estate developer Evergrande defaulting on its loans. This appears to have impacted the broader market structure. Traders are still afraid of stablecoin regulation This initial corrective phase was quickly followed by relentless pressure from regulators and policy makers on stablecoin issuers. First came VanEck’s spot Bitcoin ETF rejection by the U.S....

Law Decoded: Making sense of mixed signals, Dec. 13–20

The crypto regulation regime in any jurisdiction is an equilibrium among multiple institutional, group and personal interests of actors who have a sway over financial and monetary policies. These interests never perfectly align, frequently resulting in contradictory signals coming out of various power centers. Speaking about systemic risks facing the world’s largest economy last week, the United States Federal Reserve chair said digital assets were not a financial stability concern. Two days later, the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council issued a report that concluded that stablecoins and decentralized finance could pose sizeable financial stability risks. The source of this discrepancy could lie in the fact that the Fed’s mandate is to maintain a robust economy, while the FSOC, whi...

Law Decoded: Making sense of mixed signals, Dec. 13–20

The crypto regulation regime in any jurisdiction is an equilibrium among multiple institutional, group and personal interests of actors who have a sway over financial and monetary policies. These interests never perfectly align, frequently resulting in contradictory signals coming out of various power centers. Speaking about systemic risks facing the world’s largest economy last week, the United States Federal Reserve chair said digital assets were not a financial stability concern. Two days later, the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council issued a report that concluded that stablecoins and decentralized finance could pose sizeable financial stability risks. The source of this discrepancy could lie in the fact that the Fed’s mandate is to maintain a robust economy, while the FSOC, whi...

Senate hearing on stablecoins: Compliance anxiety and Republican pushback

On Dec. 14, the United States Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing titled “Stablecoins: How Do They Work, How Are They Used, and What Are Their Risks?” The testimonies, both spoken and written, focused largely on the last two issues, as anxieties over Know Your Customer compliance and the U.S. dollar inflation threat dominated the discussion. Held less than a week after the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee’s hearing on digital assets, which was generally perceived as “constructive”, the meeting held by the Banking Committee was expected to be tough. Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio who chairs the Committee and had called the hearing, is infamous for his critical stance on the crypto industry, and the November report from Preside...

U.S. Senate Designates November As Hip-Hop History Month & More

HipHopWired Featured Video Source: Steven Ferdman / Getty The United States government is putting some added respect on our culture’s name. The U.S. Senate has designated November as Hip-Hop History Month. By unanimous consent, via the Senate, the country will be encouraged to honor the music that changed the world. On Sunday, July 29 the upper chamber of the United States Congress agreed on the resolution of slotting August 11, 2021, as ‘‘Hip Hop Celebration Day’’, designating August 2021 as ‘‘Hip Hop Recognition Month,’, and designating November 2021 as ‘‘Hip Hop History Month’’. “Whereas, on August 11, 1973, at a ‘‘Back To School Jam’’ organized by his sister Cindy Campbell and held at the recreation room of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, New York, Clive ‘‘DJ Kool Herc’’ Campbell in...