Barely outpacing snails, US lawmakers ponder regulating crypto

Image Credits: TechCrunch

The United States government took a long-anticipated first step toward comprehensive regulatory clarity for the digital asset space this week in the form of a new bipartisan Senate bill. As much as crypto bulls insist it’s still early days for the industry, it’s even earlier days for U.S. regulators — the bill isn’t expected to come to fruition until next year.

Hello and welcome back to the Chain Reaction podcast, where we unpack and explain the latest crypto news, drama and trends, breaking it down block by block for the crypto curious.

The proposed legislation, sponsored by Senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand, could be a significant win for crypto companies because of its relatively lax provisions if it does eventually pass. It’d spare the bulk of the industry from falling under the heavier-handed purview of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), instead categorizing cryptocurrencies as commodities to be regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). We talked through some of the bill’s specific provisions on mining, DAOs and more.

We also discussed some far more negative news coming out of the industry this week — layoffs, hiring freezes and rescinded job offers from some of the major players in crypto, including Coinbase and Gemini, founded by the Winklevoss twins of “The Social Network” film infamy. (If you’re wondering what the “Winklevi” are up to these days outside of running their crypto exchange, we have a bizarre update on that front, too).

Our guest: Andreessen Horowitz partner Sriram Krishnan

Joining us this week from a16z, which recently raised the largest crypto venture fund ever, investor Sriram Krishnan talked to us about how scaling a crypto startup is similar to building a social media company. He also shared his thoughts on why he believes VCs subsidizing early-stage companies to attract users is a smart and crucial strategy.

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