As per recent rumors, United States Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, could drop a stringent piece of crypto-related legislation before his expected exit at 2020’s end. The ruling could potentially severely limit or ban self-custodied digital asset wallets — a key component of the entire industry. Cynthia Lummis, a U.S. Senator-elect hailing from the crypto-friendly state of Wyoming, finds the ruling harmful.
“I spoke with Secretary Mnuchin last week and strongly pressed him for a better path forward,” Lummis said as part of a tweet thread on Friday, adding:
“Congress is best placed to weigh the competing policy issues at stake. A rule adopted now could also potentially extend the BSA to new types of transactions beyond Congress’ intent.”
Lummis is not the only government leader who has expressed concern over the possible legal move. A number of congressional members also recently resisted against the thought of such legislation. Additionally, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong warned of the consequences stemming from such a regulatory change.
“I am deeply concerned that the Treasury Department is considering a hasty rule governing self-hosted digital asset wallets and the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA),” Lummis said near the beginning of her tweet thread. “Rather than prematurely adopting a rule on this complex topic, Treasury should immediately begin a transparent process to engage with Congress and industry, building a consensus to drive America forward,” she added.
According to Lummis, restraining the crypto wallet landscape could weigh down the U.S. amid its race against nations such as China. The country has already fallen behind in its global central bank digital currency, or CBDC, pursuits. “Treasury's rule would also likely be adopted without public comment under an often-abused portion of the Administrative Procedure Act,” she said. “Transparency makes good policy.”
One of the main selling points of crypto is the freedom it provides. Participants can hold, control and transact their own funds, regardless of the time or day of the week. Crypto and blockchain largely mobilizes money and finance. Stiff regulation could largely exterminate such advantages and innovation.
“A rule adopted at this juncture would be a solution in search of a problem. More pressing BSA-related issues exist.”
As a Bitcoiner herself, Lummis knows first-hand the benefits of crypto.