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Republican U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming held a fireside chat with Chamber of Digital Commerce founder and CEO Perianne Boring during the Bitcoin 2023 event in Miami on May 19.
The topics of discussion were the importance of Bitcoin for the national and energy security of the United States, as well as upcoming legislation regarding cryptocurrency, blockchain and related technologies.
Lummis called the regulation of Bitcoin and related technologies a matter of national security. She opined that the US government was irresponsible about its debt, and positioned Bitcoin as a decentralized security system for citizens:
“I’m actually worried when we get into another debt ceiling debate that we will end up raising the debt ceiling to the point where our interest payments will exceed how much money we spend on national defense. So it’s a matter of national security.”
The senator has made it clear that she believes the current problems surrounding the passage of bills supporting Bitcoin have more to do with what she sees as ignorance or lack of education than real-life fears.
Addressing the audience at large, Lummis joked, “While you all know that when FTX failed they didn’t have Bitcoin, there are a lot of people in Washington D.C. who are merging companies with digital assets, they are merging Bitcoin with others.” cryptocurrencies.”
Senator Lummis, along with Junior New York Senator Kristen Gilfliebrand, are hopeful that the bill they drafted as a comprehensive crypto legislative measure will serve as a catalyst for positive change. However, Lummis said the two senators are waiting to see how the stablecoin bill introduced in the House performs before introducing their own.
Lummis appeared optimistic about the bill’s chances, citing the fact that Senator Gilfliebrand served on the Senate committee overseeing the CFTC while she herself was a member of the committee overseeing the SEC as an important factor.
Perianne Boring, founder and CEO of Chamber of Digital Commerce, turned the conversation to mining, noting that her company membership accounts for over 50% of the US Bitcoin hashrate and that many of her clients are concerned about the proposed 30% mining tax. recently launched by the White House.
Referring to the tax cheers, Senator Lummis turned the derision into applause by simply replying, “Well, I want to start by saying it won’t happen.” She then reiterated that several members of Congress have been hard at work with the digital asset community to ensure fair regulation.
Referring to the further importance of proper regulation, Lummis again cited a national security issue, this time adding that it is also necessary for the environment to use the Bitcoin mining process:
“One of the advantages of bitcoin mining is that when you drill an oil and gas well at a distance from other oil and gas wells, you release gas into the atmosphere until you can run a pipeline to connect it.… Well, as long as it is released, you you can run a bitcoin mining operation in a trailer, use the methane gas that is emitted to mine your bitcoin, and you prevent this gas from being released into the atmosphere.”
The senator added that “Bitcoin cleans up the environment” to further commend the audience. She also mentioned that Bitcoin mining can be used as a tool to stabilize the power grid, stating that mining operations can be scaled up or down to ensure proper distribution of energy.
In explaining why the U.S. government has been reluctant to promote Bitcoin technology, Lummis pointed to the view of Congress that “Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are being used for criminal activities.”
“We tried to explain to members of Congress that companies like Chainalysis can actually solve crimes more easily with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies than with US dollars,” Lummis explained, adding, “but there are still people who just don’t believe it.” “. She went on to explain that the advancement of Bitcoin and related technological innovations, such as overseas mining, would undermine the ability of US law enforcement to operate in an increasingly digital world.