- Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein told Blockworks he expects 2023 to be an “active year for crypto legislation”
- A separate poll by GMI PAC found 44% of US voters own crypto or are considering it
More than one third of US voters are taking the crypto views of candidates into account in the lead-up to midterm election day next week, according to a new survey.
The survey — which polled 2,000 likely voters in early October — found that 37% have been parsing the role of crypto in terms of casting their vote. It was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of digital asset manager Grayscale Investments.
A quarter of Americans said inflation and the broader economic climate has made them more interested in crypto. Roughly half of respondents not already invested said they are waiting until the economy improves.
But regulation is also key.
Roughly 80% agreed that there should be clearer crypto regulations, including 88% of Democrats and 77% of Republicans. Nearly 40% considered the US behind other countries in terms of regulating digital assets in a manner that makes it easy and safe to trade.
Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein told Blockworks in a statement that the firm would be monitoring developments of the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act and the Responsible Financial Innovation Act — plus any potential stablecoin regulation.
The proposed Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act — authored by Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and John Boozman, R-Ark. — would classify bitcoin and ether as commodities. That would leave the two largest cryptocurrencies under the purview of the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Another, the Responsible Financial Innovation Act — introduced by Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. — would go a step further: It would give the CFTC jurisdiction over most crypto tokens, while pushing for increased oversight of stablecoins.
Bipartisan stablecoin regulation is unlikely to pass this year, sources told Blockworks. Industry participants said the Biden administration’s crypto framework, unveiled in September, was lacking in details, as the president called for yet more research on a potential digital dollar.
“We anticipate 2023 will be an active year for crypto legislation,” Sonnenshein said. “Politically, we are fortunate that crypto is a non-partisan issue, and we look forward to continuing to build crypto allies in Congress among returning incumbents and incoming freshman members.”
The regulation survey comes as Grayscale is entrenched in a lawsuit against the SEC. The company sued the regulator after the SEC denied its proposal to convert its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an ETF.
Grayscale submitted its initial brief earlier this month. Amicus briefs supporting Grayscale from the US Chamber of Commerce, the Blockchain Association and Coinbase were filed about a week later. The SEC is scheduled to file its own brief on Nov. 9.
A separate poll last month commissioned by GMI PAC found that 44% of voters now own or are considering owning digital assets. A subset — 17% — already own crypto, according to the poll.
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