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| April 21, 2018

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Senate Archives -

Pompeo Breaks With Trump on Russia During Senate Hearing

April 12, 2018 |

Aiming to quell concerns before what is likely to be a narrow confirmation vote, Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo vowed on Thursday to ramp up efforts against Russia in “each place we confront them.” But he ducked and dodged when asked whether he supports President Donald Trump’s pounding criticism of…

Despite stumbling before the financial crisis, Federal Reserve would get new discretion in Senate banking bill

March 13, 2018 |

As the financial system teetered on the brink of meltdown in the fall of 2008, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan — known for years as “the Oracle” — admitted he had been blindsided by the housing crash and breakdown in the credit markets.

“This crisis … has turned out to be much broader…

L.A. Times – Business

Equifax and other credit reporting companies could get surprising benefits in Senate banking deregulation bill

March 12, 2018 |

Equifax Inc. was publicly excoriated by senators last fall for its massive data breach. Now, the company and other credit reporting firms are in line to get some last-minute benefits in a banking deregulation bill that originally was designed to punish them by adding new consumer rights.

The bipartisan…

L.A. Times – Business

Trump endorses recent GOP foe Mitt Romney for Utah Senate

February 20, 2018 |

President Trump gave his full backing to 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, saying that Romney’s bid for a Senate seat from Utah “has my full support and endorsement!”
FOX News

Romney, seeking US Senate seat, calls for action against mass shootings

February 17, 2018 |

Just hours after announcing plans to run for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took the stage Friday night in Provo to draw attention to a matter clear across the country: this week’s massacre in Florida.
FOX News

After Shooting, Romney Delays Senate Announcement

February 15, 2018 |

Mitt Romney is preparing to announce a bid for Utah’s Senate seat held by retiring Orrin Hatch, a position some hope the 2012 GOP presidential nominee will use to continue his biting criticism of President Trump. Romney, who once called Trump “a phony” who was unfit for office, is not…

Senate Candidate Accepts Largest Contribution in BTC

February 11, 2018 |

This week the Republican Senate candidate Austin Petersen announced he accepted the largest federal election campaign contribution settled in digital currency. Petersen, a former Libertarian, has received a total of 24 cryptocurrency donations this year, and the largest was for 0.284 BTC ($ 4,500 USD).

Also Read: U.S. Lawmaker Wants Ethics Committee to Form Bitcoin Disclosure Guidelines

The Largest Cryptocurrency Campaign Donation

Republican Senate Austin Petersen Accepts the Largest Campaign Contribution Paid in BTC
Austin Petersen’s AR-15 raffle.

The Republican Austin Petersen is looking for a Senate seat in Missouri and is accepting bitcoin donations to get there. Petersen was the runner-up back in 2016 for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for President of the United States. The Missouri candidate is well known throughout the younger crowd of voters for loving bitcoin and giving away an AR-15 rifle in a raffle. This past December, the 36-year old stated in an interview: “I am a big fan of the digital currency community because of what it represents, which is ultimately decentralization.”

This week the Federal Election Commission’s records reveal Petersen has received the largest digital currency donation in U.S. history — 0.284 BTC or $ 4,500 USD at the time of donation. Petersen has also garnered 24 total election contributions in BTC, and his campaign uses the Atlanta based processor Bitpay to facilitate donations.

When asked about the recent BTC donation, Jeff Carson, the campaign manager stated:         

I think it goes without saying we’re going to see a lot more of this in terms of campaign contributions and campaign financing — Austin is personally a fan of competition in the marketplace, even when it comes to our currency — With the rise of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, it was a no-brainer.

Austin Petersen Accepts the Largest Campaign Contribution Paid In BTC

Gold, Silver, Cryptocurrencies and Ending the Fed

Petersen detailed last September that he would like to see “deregulation on monetary policy.” Further, the candidate added he would like to see the abolition of the private banking system the U.S. Federal Reserve.

“But barring that, at a minimum, I would like to introduce legislation that would decentralize the monetary unit, the dollar, in such a way as to legalize competition: Gold, silver, and cryptocurrencies, so that they can compete — That would cause a spike in the prices,” Petersen explains.

The contender follows other U.S. bureaucrats who’ve accepted bitcoin donations in the past. Back in 2014, the Coloradan Democrat Jared Polis received BTC for his campaign. The libertarian-leaning Republican Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, accepted crypto for his presidential run in 2016.

What do you think about Austin Petersen’s campaign donation? Do you envision digital currencies being used more often to fund politicians running for office? Let us know what you think about this story in the comment section below.

Images via, Austin Petersen, Twitter, and the Kansas City Star.

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The post Senate Candidate Accepts Largest Contribution in BTC appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Senate Passes Deal to Reopen Government

February 9, 2018 |

The Senate passed a bipartisan spending bill early Friday—almost two hours after Sen. Rand Paul forced a government shutdown by blocking the vote for as long as he could in a protest against deficit spending. When the vote finally took place, the bill, backed by the Senate leaders of…

Senate Strikes a Deal, but Pelosi is Balking

February 7, 2018 |

Congress is getting closer to avoiding another shutdown later this week. The Senate’s top leaders announced Wednesday they have sealed agreement on a two-year budget pact that would shower both the Pentagon and domestic programs with almost $ 300 billion above existing limits, giving wins to both GOP defense hawks and…

Senate Releases Testimonies Ahead of Crypto Hearing

February 6, 2018 |

Senate Releases Testimonies Ahead of Crypto Hearing

A day before a landmark hearing, a day with screaming headlines about the US stock market’s historic dump, not to mention bitcoin’s 65 percent fire sale, the United States Senate released formal testimony of Chairs from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Heads of both entities will testify Tuesday 6 February before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to discuss the future of regulating cryptocurrencies. After today, they’re going to have plenty to discuss.  

Also read: Market Risk Advisory Committee: Bitcoin Futures Self-Certification Works

Senate Testimony of SEC Chair Clayton

Bitcoiners are looking for any signs of positive news at this point. Set for a 10am Winter hearing Tuesday in the United States Senate Dirksen office building, two of the most powerful regulators in the cryptocurrency space will formally enter their testimony. Titled, Virtual Currencies: The Oversight Role of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, both Jay Clayton of the SEC and the CFTC’s J. Christopher Giancarlo will face lawmakers who are openly worried about the brave new future of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

This particular committee is chaired by Mike Crapo and ranking member Sherrod Brown, and is made up of 23 members total (12 Republican, 11 Democrat). In the US, each state, of which there are 50, receive 2 Senate seats, making the upper, more deliberative body a pound-for-pound most powerful institution in a nation of more than 325 million people. That a quarter of the Senate gets a chance to weigh in on the topic of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, less than 24 hours after one of its biggest crashes, is bound to make news. It’s also a highly charged political year, as Republicans have a hold on the Senate majority heading into the November off-year elections, and both parties are looking for the slightest vulnerability in the other.

Senate Releases Testimonies Ahead of Important Crypto Hearing
Mr. Clayton’s testimony

Chairman Jay Clayton of the SEC, 51, was nominated by President Trump over a year ago and assumed office last Summer. The SEC had been largely hands-off in the crypto space, and was notoriously reticent about its supposed role in bitcoin’s mainstreaming. No more. Under Mr. Clayton, the SEC became very active late last year, prosecuting bad actors and making more public statements than in prior years. It has slowed approval of what many believed would be key to the digital asset’s success, bitcoin ETFs.

Chair Clayton’s formal testimony entered into the record of the Senate, and pro-forma released to the public a day prior, is a Rorschach test for readers. Bitcoiners can take away a largely balanced, unsurprising approach from the SEC: the agency feels well entitled to regulate the space where it finds securities, especially when it comes to initial coin offerings and other less tested leveraging mechanisms. “I am particularly concerned,” Mr. Clayton wrote, “about market participants who extend to customers credit in U.S. dollars – a relatively stable asset – to enable the purchase of cryptocurrencies, which, in recent experience, have proven to be a more volatile asset.” But he didn’t put the kibosh on ICOs altogether, insisting, “It is possible to conduct an offer and sales of securities, including an ICO, without triggering the SEC’s registration requirements,” believing “an ICO that is a security can be structured so that it qualifies.”

Senate Releases Testimonies Ahead of Important Crypto Hearing
Jay Clayton

Leave it to States or Feds?

For those unfamiliar with the US concept of federalism, regulation can, and often is, left to the 50 states to work out under general federal guidelines. Some feel this approach is in line with historic governance of the country, while others appreciate 50 laboratories of different methodologies. It’s a version of subsidiarity, whereby the larger national government allows lawmakers closest to the ground their chance at solving whatever issue particular to regional concerns. On broadening federal law to blanket all crypto assets, the Chair hinted to being “open to exploring with Congress, as well as with our federal and state colleagues, whether increased federal regulation of cryptocurrency trading platforms is necessary or appropriate.” For Wall Street, this could be especially good news, considering their penchant for uniformity and expedience. It’s more difficult to say how bitcoiners will interpret the notion.

Furthermore, the Chair assumes “U.S.-based cryptocurrency trading platforms have elected to be regulated as money-transmission services,” his written remarks revealed, “these predominantly state-regulated payment services have not been subject to direct oversight by the SEC or the CFTC” as of the present hearing. That could be a signal for some kind of hole lawmakers at the federal level might feel the need to fill.

Senate Releases Testimonies Ahead of Important Crypto Hearing

Significantly, the Chair has, especially in previous published comments, wondered aloud about which cryptos fall where on the regulatory scale, and bitcoiners have largely appreciated his awareness of the distinction. In a market where anything is called a cryptocurrency, even a project with only a PDF and no blockchain, the SEC head seems to understand they’re not all equal. There “are cryptocurrencies that, at least as currently designed, promoted and used, do not appear to be securities,” he clarified. Encouragingly, he briefly outlined how “determining what falls within the ambit of a securities offer and sale is a facts-and-circumstances analysis,” noting how “utilizing a principles-based framework…has served American companies and American investors well through periods of innovation and change for over 80 years.” Bitcoiners might be overjoyed to learn the SEC considers crypto possibly one of those “periods of innovation.”

Careful to not come off Panglossian, Mr. Clayton takes into account the very real concerns of lawmakers going forward. However, “These warnings are not an effort to undermine the fostering of innovation through our capital markets – America was built on the ingenuity, vision and spirit of entrepreneurs who tackled old and new problems in new, innovative ways,” he stressed.

The 71 page document has much more to say, and a great deal of it will be brought out through questioning by lawmakers, but, at least for now, bitcoiners can rest easier knowing no imminent Chinese crackdown is coming to the United States. These pages, of course, will have continued coverage of the hearing as it unfolds. 

What do you think of the SEC Chair’s testimony? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Pixabay, SEC.

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