Kara Calvert, the Head of US Policy at Coinbase, recently appeared on “Bloomberg Technology” with Ed Ludlow and Sonali Basak to discuss the pressing issues surrounding cryptocurrency regulation in the United States. The conversation focused on the challenges and opportunities that the crypto industry faces, particularly in the context of the SEC’s busy agenda and the “Stand the Crypto Day” event in Washington, D.C.
Coinbase organized Stand with Crypto Day, which took place on 27 September 2023, one day after this interview took place. The event aimed to shed light on the wide range of Americans invested in cryptocurrencies and the economic potential of this innovative technology. The event was timed to coincide with a House Financial Services Committee oversight hearing. At this hearing, SEC Chair Gary Gensler addressed questions from lawmakers concerning his rigorous scrutiny of an industry he describes as teeming with “con artists, fraudulent acts, and pyramid schemes.”
When asked about the purpose of these meetings with lawmakers, Calvert emphasized the need for education. She stated that the industry aims to help people understand why cryptocurrency matters to the 52 million Americans who currently own it. Calvert noted that while many lawmakers understand the importance of crypto, there are some who view the industry as rife with corruption and fraud. The industry representatives aim to counter these perceptions by sharing personal stories about how crypto has positively impacted their lives and economic situations.
Ed Ludlow inquired about the end goals of these educational efforts. Calvert responded that the industry is pushing for legislation that will create a comprehensive framework for cryptocurrency. She mentioned that Americans are asking for consumer protection and an environment that fosters innovation. Calvert cited existing legislative proposals, such as the Financial Innovation Act for the 21st Century and the COIN Bill, which have been in the works for the last 12 to 18 months. She stressed that a vote for these bills would be a vote for consumer protection and future innovation.
Calvert also touched upon the concern that the Biden administration’s current stance could drive blockchain industries offshore. She cited studies indicating that 2% of developers are already moving overseas, which could result in a loss of up to a million jobs by 2030. She warned that unelected bureaucrats making decisions could have a real impact on the industry and urged the administration to think carefully about their next steps.
When asked about which issues Congress should tackle first, Calvert stated that all issues, including stablecoins and tokenization, are important and should be addressed comprehensively.
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