Last year, Elizabeth Warren described cryptocurrencies as the haven of “shadowy supercoders,” leading commentators to criticize the ignorance of US politicians about an increasingly important aspect of modern financial life.
However, Warren is not an honest representation of Washington as a whole, and there is no shortage of politicians in local offices who have demonstrated clear crypto credentials.
To help separate the blockchainers from the dumbass, we’ve compiled a list of the five most pro-crypto voices in US politics.
1. Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Lummis could make Wyoming crypto the US home. Photo by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY.
A Bitcoiner since 2013, Cynthia Lummis became the first US senator with cryptocurrency after her 2020 election victory secured her seat in the upper house of Congress.
Lummis has pushed for clarity on crypto taxation in the US and called for the creation of a new regulatory body to monitor the crypto market independent of the SEC. In particular, she has called for legislation that would exclude strike action and mining from capital gains taxes.
Lummis’ home state, Wyoming, allows a number of crypto institutions to process transactions, has legalized DAOs and has put forward proposals to allow residents to pay some of their taxes in virtual currency.
One Wyoming to rule them all?
The “Cowboy State” is trying to reinvent itself as the crypto capital of the world. The progress Wyoming has made thus far can largely be attributed to Cynthia Lummis, one of the loudest advocates of crypto in national politics. But further progress depends on its ability to gain bipartisan support for virtual currency bills in Congress.
2. Mayor Francis Suarez (R – Miami)
Suarez is one of many local politicians in the US with a crypto-friendly attitude. Photo by MDC-EPC, licensed under CC BY.
Francis Suarez took office as mayor of Miami in 2017 and quickly became the first American politician to take 100% of his salary in Bitcoin. He has also been hailed as one of the “50 Greatest Leaders in the World” by Fortune Magazine.
Suarez is a strong believer in the ability of peer-to-peer currencies to promote financial inclusion in Miami. He wants residents to buy groceries and other goods with crypto and also wants to invest some of the city’s treasury in Bitcoin so that he can tackle poverty with the profits.
Under Suarez’s leadership, “The Magic City” has become a haven for crypto enthusiasts, executives, and businesses. Last summer, Miami even launched its own token called MiamiCoin (MIA), which is powered by the Stacks blockchain.
Year of the Underdog?
Suarez faces a serious challenge to New York’s status as America’s premier financial center with his plans to make Miami one of the “most innovative cities” in the world through the adoption of blockchain technology.
3. Mayor Eric Adams (D – New York City)
Mayor Adams planned to take his salary in Bitcoin. Photo by Thomas Good, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
Eric Adams is a former NYPD police officer who was elected mayor of New York in November 2021, after counting on campaign donations from some pro-crypto businessmen.
Adams’ crypto promises got off to a rocky start. Shortly after being elected, he stated that he would receive his first three paychecks in Bitcoin. Then it came to light that the City of New York only pays its employees in fiat.
Despite this, Adams has put forward a number of ideas aimed at mainstreaming crypto, such as increasing merchants’ ability to accept it as a form of payment and incorporating blockchain education into school curriculum.
New York has been trying to keep up with its southern neighbor Miami by releasing its own crypto, NYCOIN (NYC), which is also built on Stacks. It has also relaxed local regulations so that it can entice some of the biggest names in the crypto industry to set up their headquarters in the city.
Welcome to Crypto: The Grind Begins
It is probably too early to judge Adams when it comes to his track record of delivering on crypto promises. However, one thing is certain: Adams has his work cut out for him in the coming years if he is to live up to the expectations of the crypto community that supported his election campaign.
4. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Cruz wants to make mining a major industry in Texas. Photo by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY.
The bloated Texas senator needs no introduction. Cruz has long been a supporter of Bitcoin, spending up to $50,000 in January to “buy the dip.”
Cruz has publicly expressed his desire to make Texas a crypto mining hub by making it easier for miners to move to the state. In the Senate, he has condemned draft laws targeting crypto exchanges and pledged to limit Bitcoin’s environmental impact.
Local lawmakers in Texas are also hopeful that they can tempt a major migration of Bitcoin miners to the “Lone Star State”. The idea is that if miners ramp up their operations, it will attract more energy companies to settle in Texas.
Policymakers believe that the excess energy produced for mining companies can be diverted to residential areas in an emergency. This is due to last year’s winter storm that left millions of Texans without electricity for days.
Ted Cruz: The First Bitcoin President?
Ted Cruz is tipped to throw his hat in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential election. He knows that compliance with pro-crypto legislation will play a big part in his bid to win the presidential election where crypto is ahead of most polls. seems to be a flagship issue at first.
Texas’ ability to transform itself into a crypto hub in the coming years will also go a long way in establishing Cruz’s credentials among America’s politically conscious crypto voter base.
5. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OK)
Ron Wyden is one of the most pro-crypto Democrats. Photo by jdlasica, licensed under CC BY.
Ron Wyden has been an Oregon senator since 1996 and chairs the Senate’s powerful finance committee. He has been known to break the ranks of parties on crypto policy by acting as one of the few high-ranking voices in the Democratic party embracing crypto.
Wyden has teamed up with Republican Cynthia Lummis in the Senate on a number of occasions to bring forward crypto regulation acceptable to all stakeholders. He is one of the few Democrats to strongly advocate favorable crypto regulation.
Wyden also uses being active social media presence to raise awareness around the universal benefits of cryptocurrency among its followers.
Oregon has taken a lukewarm approach to blockchain adoption compared to many other US states trying to establish themselves as crypto meccas. For the most part, Oregon has yet to explore the usefulness of peer-to-peer currencies and has shaped its crypto policy around the aggressive regulations put in place by federal authorities such as the SEC.
The crypto election
Wyden was re-elected in November and has already collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from crypto-super Political Action Committees (PACs) and financial organizations associated with the industry. With Wyden’s fate ostensibly dependent on his ability to mobilize a voter base of crypto enthusiasts, his ability to lead pro-crypto bills to Congress will likely be a major theme in his reelection campaign.