The New York Times reports that crypto lobbyists in the US are taking their cause to state levels, pushing governors and local lawmakers into passing policies favourable to the crypto industry.
As per the NYT, 153 crypto-related legislation were pending this year in over 40 States, and while we don’t know for sure how many of those came directly from crypto lobbyists, many of the bills contain “industry-proposed” language.
“One bill pending in Illinois lifted entire sentences from a draft provided by a lobbyist.”
The country-wide pro-crypto legislation points to a national strategy from the crypto industry to spend less time on convincing federal regulators to deliver the goods, and instead go state by state to cultivate better policy.
For example, Florida legislators approved a bill last month that makes it easier for people to trade cryptocurrency, nullifying limitations instilled by another anti-money laundering law. Florida governor Ron DeSantis also said the Sunshine State was working on letting people pay their taxes in crypto.
“I actually had some money in the budget the legislature didn’t pick up to try to do some experiment with blockchain technology on some of the state functions,” he said.
Similarly, Colorado governor Jared Polis announced that his state would be the first in the union to accept taxes in crypto in an effort to digitize and modernize the local economy.
“Proud to lead efforts to create a strong and dynamic crypto ecosystem that puts Colorado at the forefront of digital innovation,” Polis said.
“States are being convinced you have to do this if you want to be competitive, so they’re rolling out the red carpet for crypto firms,” said Lee Reiners, former supervisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
“There’s no one pushing back saying there are big risks here to your citizens, of money laundering, consumer fraud and tax evasion.”
Meanwhile, attempts to sway Washington continue. Many lawmakers across the US have put great effort into moving the Overton window in their favour and bringing cryptocurrency to the forefront of public discussions.
Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, who recently spoke at the 2022 Bitcoin conference in Miami, has been one of the most vocal proponents of blockchain and BTC.
Lummis, along with fellow senator Kirsten Gillibrand, are working on a “broad-based regulatory framework” for the industry, which would be the first of its kind should it come to fruition.
“The federal government is catching up to states,” Lummis said. ”In the last year. I can’t tell you how big a change there is in the interest of Congress in this issue, in the advancement of the industry in beginning to help inform about what they need in terms of a regulatory framework and how government can be helpful to that, allowing for a sandbox of innovation that still has regulatory sideboards. That’s the sweet spot that Sen. Gillibrand and I are trying to create.”