Not all legislators are created equal when it comes to the issue of crypto and blockchain. Now a new campaign, Stand With Crypto, has made it easier to see which elected representatives in America are an industry ally.
On Monday, Coinbase announced the launch of its Stand With Crypto Alliance, a pressure group of industry members and supporters. The website encourages visitors to contact their representatives in Congress and advocate for the industry.
Coinbase Seeks to Turn up Heat on Politicians
As the second-largest exchange in the world, and the world’s largest publicly traded one, Coinbase has a lot of sway. It is now redoubling the pressure on US politicians after a year characterized by high-stakes debates over regulation.
One of the features of the campaign website is a labeling system that designates lawmakers based on how supportive they are of the industry. The politicians’ profiles redirect to the Coinbase website.
The website sets forth the criteria for its crypto sentiment ratings:
“Publicly available data including, legislative record, media statements, social media posts, caucus membership, and public letters. For Members without information or information that could not be publicly verified, they were not scored.”
For crypto watchers, some scores will come as no surprise.
Elizabeth Warren Named “Strongly Against”
For example, Democrat Elizabeth Warren, the junior senator from Massachusetts and a leftwing firebrand, has made a name in the industry for her anti-crypto stances. The project gives Senator Warren a “Strongly against” rating.
However, Warren has never been entirely against digital currencies. The 74-year-old has previously advocated for a digital currency backed by the Federal Reserve to eliminate many of its risks.
Unsurprisingly, many within the crypto community who value decentralization did not find it amusing.
It may surprise some to learn that a number of the top scorers belong to the same party as Warren. They are not stereotypical pro-business Republicans. But Democrats who want to foster innovation.
Another politician mentioned is Representative Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey’s fifth district. The project ranks the 48-year-old as “Very supportive,” its highest rating.
As noted on the website, Gottheimer has sponsored two failed initiatives for the blockchain industry. They include a bill authorizing the development of a national strategy for the research and development of blockchain, and a bill designating crypto tokens as non-securities.
Representative Torres of New York Stands With Crypto
Another top scorer is Gottheimer’s Congressional colleague Ritchie Torres, a Democrat representing New York’s 15th district. The website labels Torres “Very supportive,” citing four recent statements of his that leave little doubt as to his views. For one thing, crypto can help immigrants avoid exploitation.
“Immigrants often pay predatory fees to send remittances to loved ones abroad. #Crypto has the potential to create a better, cheaper, faster payment system. My mission is to make the crypto revolution work for the lowest-income Americans,” Torres wrote in a December 14, 2021, tweet.
However, the website did not give every politician a ranking if there was not enough data to compile a score.
Coinbase is understandably keen to help influence regulation around digital assets. On June 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced it was suing the exchange for violating securities laws.
For its part, Coinbase maintains that the assets on its platform are not securities, and that the SEC is overreaching.
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