In the battle for U.S. cryptocurrency regulations, several lawmakers are stepping up to the plate. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Republican lawmaker from Wyoming, is a stand-out.
With little coming by way of regulations in President Biden's first year in office, Sen. Lummis is reportedly ramping up efforts to get crypto regulations moving in 2022.
Another Bill is Ready to Fly
This month, Bloomberg reported that Sen. Lummis proposed a bill to help provide regulatory clarity on stablecoins.
The unnamed bill aims to guide regulators concerning different assets that belong to different classes and offers details on consumer protection, allowing lawmakers to understand varying risk levels.
At the same time, Sen. Lummis proposed creating an organization that will help the government oversee the American crypto market.
The organization will have joint supervision from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTCC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) - the two agencies traditionally tasked with overseeing securities and investment industries.
Following the Bloomberg post, Lummis herself took to social media to curry favor for her bill. She urged bipartisan support of the bill on Twitter, encouraging all senators to support it as she prepares to bring it to the Senate floor.
For now, any legislation put before the Senate will need the support of at least 60 Senators to pass and go to vote. Democrats control half of the Senate. Democrat Vice President Kamala Harris - a former Senator herself - acts as the tiebreaker should there be a stalemate.
Partisan Divisions Pose a Threat to Progress
Of course, Lummis' bill will go through different rounds of negotiations if it even gets called up for a vote. And it's worth noting that the governing body itself is incredibly divided. Several top Democrats in Congress have come out against crypto.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a top Democrat from Massachusetts, has repeatedly attacked cryptocurrencies on multiple fronts.
The Senator, who has a solid background in financial matters, has criticized crypto on asset backing, the environmental effects of mining, and much more. She holds massive influence among Democrats in the Senate, and it seems unlikely she will be enthusiastic about legalizing crypto.
If Lummis' bill does pass in the Senate, it will go to the house for a vote. There, it will run into names like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - the New York Rep who has caught massive attention for her progressive ideas, and who recently claimed on social media that lawmakers shouldn't even be allowed to hold crypto.
The issue of partisanship is beginning to pose a significant threat to the crypto industry. Congress has a long history of voting across party lines, and this has only gotten worse over the past two decades.
Now, it looks like this divide is getting to crypto as well. More progressive Democrats like Sen. Warren are staunchly against crypto, while Republicans like Sen. Lummis are for crypto regulations.
If crypto regulation issues are allowed to degenerate into partisan squabbles, we might never get anything done. Crypto could go the backburner way of other important issues like gun control.
Lummis Might Be the Right Woman for the Job
Despite the challenge posed by party divisions, Lummis has shown an impressive ability to work across party lines when the need arises - especially for crypto.
Earlier this year, she partnered with Democrat Senators Mark Warner of Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona - as well as other senators - to urge Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to change the meaning of "broker" in the current administration's infrastructure bill.
It looks like Lumis is as equipped as anyone to deliver the bipartisan support the crypto industry needs to get regulations in order. At the same time, lawmakers need to come to the table with an objective mindset.
Other countries are making massive progress with their crypto markets. It will be a disservice if U.S. lawmakers sacrifice the country's leadership position in this global industry.