March 22, 2023

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US Republication senator, Cynthia Lummis, hailing from Wyoming believes that the Federal Reserve should add bitcoin to its balance sheet. Speaking at the crypto webinar panel of the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, the senator stated that it would make plenty of sense when they have a proper regulatory policy in place. A webinar video had been published by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation this week that featured Randal Quarles, the former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, Bobby Zagotta, the CEO of Bitstamp, and Cynthia Lummis, the Republic senator from Wyoming. Matt Sandgren hosted the webinar.

He told Quarles that Bitcoin had received a lot of skepticism in the early days from Wall Street and Washington. However, Sandgren continued to say that things appear to be changing now and he questioned the former VC of the Federal Reserve if he agreed about a change in perspectives. Quarles responded that in the early days, the widespread use case of cryptocurrency and bitcoin wasn’t clear. While they did resolve some technical issues that existed in the financial system, but they were not suited to be a payment mechanism because of their price volatility. Therefore, Quarles said that anonymity and independence from the traditional regulated monetary system had been the primary attractions.

He continued to say that neither of these would be appealing to Washington at all. As far as Wall Street is concerned, he said that investors would certainly move slowly towards a novel technology that didn’t have a clear use case, which had the potential of attracting a lot of unwelcome attention from law enforcement and regulators. But, he added that things were undoubtedly changing now for a couple of reasons and he mentioned stablecoins as one of them. He believes they are a more useful alternative because they can ‘tame the volatility’.

After the statements from Quarles and a description of cryptocurrencies from Bitstamp’s CEO, the US senator told the host she thought it was an excellent idea for the Federal Reserve to invest in Bitcoin and to add it to its balance sheet. She said that with a regulatory and statutory framework in place, it would be quite sensible. Lummis said that its decentralization would make bitcoin more ubiquitous over time. Senator Cynthia Lummis has been very open about her favorable of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In fact, she had recently thanked bitcoin for its existence when the US Congress had begun having discussions about raising the debt ceiling.

Lummis had disclosed in the first week of October last year that she had bought bitcoin and she considers it a great source of value. But, Quarles, the panel speaker, did not share Lummis’ opinion. He added that he believed it unlikely that the US central bank would include bitcoin to their balance sheet. He said that there were political and economic reasons why they wouldn’t do so. Lummis reiterated during her panel statements that bitcoin is scarce, predictable and a store of value. She termed it as digital gold, which makes it hard money.

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