As the United States Senate begins reassigning leadership positions in commerce and the Treasury, the crypto community has seen significant momentum in response. This is due to the profiles of various people who have reportedly been nominated, as well as expected economic measures from the upcoming government, both of which are designed to fuel positive momentum for crypto growth.
While some official appointments have been made with numerous pending confirmations, others are still in the nomination phase. Let’s take a quick walk around the swamp.
Confirmed with 84 votes, Janet Yellen will head the state treasury. During her confirmation hearing, Yellen shared her support for Biden’s agenda, which is a likely hike in taxes for the wealthy, “helping money” to stabilize the dollar in attempts to undermine current value through overseas market manipulation, and ensuring the U.S. State Stabilization Traps U.S. Economy Amid Current Global COVID-19 Pandemic. With regards to crypto, Yellen did not go directly into her approach to regulation in the room during her confirmation hearings. However, she mentioned that legitimate uses of cryptocurrency should be encouraged, such as the use of this type of decentralized funding, to “improve the efficiency of the financial system.”
Securities and Exchange Commission
One appointment that the crypto community is particularly excited about is Gary Gensler, who previously served as Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Barack Obama and as Treasurer under President Bill Clinton. After previously calling blockchain technology a “catalyst for change”, Gensler was open about the importance of cryptocurrencies and announced that there is a “strong argument” for XRP to be classified as a security. He was also very vocal about how blockchain technology could solve payment problems in the United States.
As expected chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gensler will be in a great position to garner support for a digital currency from the US Federal Reserve, especially given the institutional interest in the product. Gensler would also play a significant role in wide-ranging government actions related to crypto and blockchain, such as a review of an exchange-traded Bitcoin (BTC) fund, and is expected to change sentiment in his favor. Gensler is currently Professor of Practice at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He researches and teaches blockchain technology, digital currencies, financial technology, and public policy.
Additionally, SEC chairman Jay Clayton’s departure is also being welcomed by crypto enthusiasts as he was notorious for his skepticism about the digital finance industry. With Clayton and his anti-crypto prejudice, the way is clear for Bitcoin ETFs to become a reality.
There are already a number of Fidelity-led financial institutions and investment firms that will file applications with the SEC for bitcoin funds and will put pressure on Gensler when he takes office.
Currency Auditor’s Office
Another office that will come into focus during Biden’s transition is the currency verifier’s office. Out is Brian Brooks, former head of the OCC during the Trump administration, who announced prior to his resignation that banks could use stablecoins and blockchain to process payments. In a so-called “letter of interpretation”, the OCC allows banks chartered nationwide to use crypto currencies with relatively stable prices for standard transactions. The letter also states that banks can participate in the validation of transactions on a blockchain, which is an impressive regulatory advance for stable coins and creates more potential for cryptocurrencies.
Before stepping down from office, Brooks discussed the importance of decentralized funding, stating:
“That’s what decentralization is about. There is no CEO in the world of crypto. Crypto is about freedom. If you didn’t believe freedom was important last week, you should think again. “
As of early February, Biden’s transition team is expected to appoint Michael Barr to replace Brooks in the OCC. Prior to joining Ripple as a consultant and a board member at LendingClub, Barr helped build the Dodd Frank Act, which imposed strict regulations on lenders and creditors to protect consumers after the collapse of homes. This unique mix of experience and credibility could be required to drive favorable regulation and further growth of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in financial services.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission
The final appointment that should make investors optimistic is Chris Brummer, who is expected to become the next chairman of the CFTC. As a member of the CFTC subcommittee and director of the Georgetown Institute of International Economic Law, Brummer Yellen will advise on regulatory issues related to cryptocurrency and potentially lay the foundation for a more expansive derivatives market for digital assets.
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Edmund McCormack is the founder and CEO of Dchained and a technology and crypto investing veteran. Edmund has been actively involved in the adoption and adoption of technologies and services that are an integral part of everyday life for 15 years, from social networks to the app store. Through the intersection of technology and a community of investors and experts, Edmund built the educational platform that is designed to make it easier for everyday people to learn and get started with cryptocurrencies.