GOP Policy Arm Releases Paper Exploring Benefits, Risks of Crypto

GOP Policy Arm Releases Paper Exploring Benefits, Risks of Crypto

By Cheyenne Ligon

The paper signals that Senate Republicans are inching toward a more unified approach to crypto regulation.

The policy arm of U.S. Senate Republicans has issued a policy paper on crypto, signaling the GOP is making its way toward a more unified approach to crypto regulation.

The Senate Republican Policy Committee (RPC), chaired by U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), works to form legislative policy goals for the party, as well as provide research and analysis on a variety of subjects.

The short policy paper, titled “Cryptocurrency Goes Mainstream,” was published on April 7, and explores both the benefits and the “dark side” of cryptocurrency. While the paper touts the potential for crypto to “reduce transaction costs and speeds and to increase privacy,” it also calls attention to crypto’s role in “nefarious purposes” like ransomware attack payments, scams, speculation and drug trafficking.

Though nothing in the paper is new information, the paper itself is noteworthy because it demonstrates the development of a more cohesive Republican policy position on crypto. Senate Republicans have been, on the whole, more supportive of the crypto industry than Senate Democrats, but policy efforts have been sporadic.

Varying levels of crypto education have also been a challenge on Capitol Hill. While some lawmakers are crypto-savvy, others – as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has claimed on multiple occasions – could not explain “what in the hell a cryptocurrency is.”

The RPC’s paper is a sign that those days could be numbered.

In President Joe Biden’s executive order on crypto issued last month, he called for a whole-of-government approach to crypto regulation – something the RPC’s paper notes.

“These objectives [in the EO] included protecting consumers, investors, and businesses and ensuring privacy; maintaining financial stability; and guarding against illicit uses such as money laundering and ransomware,” the report reads.

“The order also called for the U.S. to continue leading the development of digital assets and for promoting access to affordable financial services,” it adds.

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