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EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Lummis on SEC crypto announcement: "I think that this is an indication that Bitcoin has gone mainstream"

EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Lummis on SEC crypto announcement: "I think that this is an indication that Bitcoin has gone mainstream"

Ep. 1 — Sen. Cynthia Lummis (1-11-2024)
Elevator in US Capitol. Photo: Matt Laslo

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) reacts to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) recent approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs.

LISTEN: Laslo & Lummis


Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), slightly edited for clarity.


TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

SCENE: We hop on an elevator in the US Capitol with Lummis as she heads to the Senate floor to vote.

Cynthia Lummis: “What you got?”

Matt Laslo: “I was wondering — you see the SECs announcement on crypto?”

CL: “Yes.”

ML: “What do you think? Game changer? We were just tlaking about…”

CL: “Well, it helps mainstream Bitcoin. It gives people who are reluctant to self custody Bitcoin an opportunity to integrate it into their investment portfolios in a way that people are familiar with and comfortable with.”

ML: “I was just talking to Elizabeth Warren and she says more is needed — especially anti-money laundering stuff — do you think this Congress is going to act?”

CL: “I hope so. I hope so. Efforts to delegitimize Bitcoin here in Congress, I think now are going to be seen as ill conceived, and it's time to get past that dialogue and get on to having a well understood regulatory framework that protects consumers. That's what Sen. [Kirsten] Gillibrand and I have been advocating for all along. So I'm pleased to see it. I think that this is an indication that Bitcoin has gone mainstream, and it's time to have a clearly understood regulatory framework.”

ML: “Are you surprised that Congress hasn't even acted after the FTX collapse? I mean, that’s people’s livelihoods.”

CL: “Oh, I know, it's just — it's stupid. The reason FTX was organized offshore is so they could defraud people. Binance is offshore. They were brought to justice for helping fund illicit finance. Those companies are offshore, because they don't want to comply with even current US regulation. So why don't we have a legitimate regulatory framework, so good companies can function in the United States and use digital assets in the traditional, well understood, well regulated economy in the US. Other countries are way ahead of us in terms of regulating digital assets, and because of that legitimate companies are going where there's a well understood regulatory framework. Right now in the United States, the legitimate companies are being regulated by enforcement action, which includes penalties for doing things that they're trying to comply with but are not getting good information from the regulators. So they're frustrated, and they're moving offshore. We need to have a clearly understood regulatory framework in this country, and we're missing opportunities to do that.”

SEE: Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s reaction

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Matt Laslo’s a WIRED contributor, lectures on technology’s impact on government at the Johns Hopkins University (MA) and is the founder of Ask a Pol — the people-powered press corps. Find him on social media @MattLaslo.


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