Cynthia Lummis – a Bitcoin-bullish Republican Senator – believes Bitcoin is destined to be adopted as a common means of exchange. She currently considers it a “commodity” but expects it to become a currency “really fast”, thanks to the lightning network.
In conversation with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, Lummis went deep on Bitcoin’s currency status, and regulatory relationships. She explained that under the new bill she’s designing alongside Senator Gillibrand, they’d see it regulated like a “traditional asset”.
Specifically, the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) would treat Bitcoin as a commodity, covering spot and futures markets. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would regulate Bitcoin companies for consumer protection and financial disclosures.
Then, the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) would preside over stablecoins – cryptocurrencies value pegged to fiat currencies. Stablecoins, she explained, could operate on a bank-to-consumer level like credit cards, while a possible CBDC operates between banks and the Fed.
Indeed, a CBDC appears a distant but likely future for the United States, given the Biden administration’s rhetoric on the subject. In an executive order to organize crypto regulation last, Biden pushed for “urgent” CBDC and digital dollar development. However, Lummis showed discontent with the order at the time, feeling unconvinced that a CBDC is necessary.
Yet even if the government-backed dollar moves to cryptocurrency, Lummis maintains that there’s still a place for other cryptocurrencies – specifically Bitcoin. Citing its maximal decentralization and independence from state control, she believes Bitcoin will “withstand the test of time,” even if others don’t.
“At this point in its existence, it’s a commodity,” explained Lummis. “I own it just like cattle, wheat, gold. At some point, though, it will become a means of payment, which it is not right now, but it’s gonna happen really fast.”
Lummis said that she still “wants” the US dollar to continue being the global currency. However, she has shown grave worry about the inflationary pressure it’s experiencing. Also, she has “thanked God” that Bitcoin exists as an alternative.
Senators Owning Bitcoin
During the interview, Lummis mentioned that she personally owns 5 Bitcoin. Three of those Bitcoin were bought years ago at $330, making for a one-hundred-fold investment for the senator. Only two other US senators currently own Bitcoin, including Ted Cruz and Pat Toomey.
When asked if she thought there was a conflict of interest there, Lummis thought the concern to be insignificant.
“This is a $1.8 trillion market. There are 17,000 to 18,000 cryptocurrencies. So this is a very big marketplace, and I am a spec of sand…”