After Bitcoin bash fest, US Senator Elizabeth Warren says something vaguely positive about crypto
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US Democratic Senator Elizabeth “Rabs” Warren (it’ll never catch on) seems to have softened her tone on the crypto industry, at least very slightly and possibly temporarily, in a conversation with CNBC.
Speaking on the US network’s Squawk Box program today, the former presidential candidate said something the cryptoverse knows all too well – that digital currencies could be a solution for banking the unbanked:
“There has been an enormous failure by the big banks to reach consumers all across the country,” said Warren. “Digital currency and central bank digital currency (CBDC) may be an answer there.”
"One of the things I think is very interesting is digital currency," says @ewarren. "There has been an enormous failure by the big banks to reach consumers all across the country…digital currency and central bank digital currency may be an answer there." pic.twitter.com/sCVum1GGe2
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) July 28, 2021
Wait… what? Is this the same person who yesterday wrote a letter to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging a “coordinated and holistic response to the dangers of crypto”? The same stern-letter-writing Elizabeth Warren bustling the SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) down a crypto-regulation rabbit hole?
Of course, the senator’s not wrong that the crypto industry, with its present lack of regulatory guidance, is full of risk – for new entrants and experienced participants alike. But her stance on crypto in general has been pretty damning of late, for instance calling Bitcoin “not a good investment” and an “environmental disaster”.
Warren was also a star player in a US Senate Banking Committee hearing yesterday, which carried the title “Cryptocurrencies: What Are They Good For?”
In what was a pretty crap impression of Welsh singer Tom Jones, the committee’s chairman Senator Sherrod Brown gave everyone in the room his answer: Absolutely “nothing”.
He didn’t need to say it again, because Rabs took the mic for some trademark searing commentary:
“Instead of leaving our financial system at the whims of giant banks,” said Warren, “crypto puts the system at the whims of some shadowy faceless group of super coders and miners, which doesn’t sound better to me.”
One thing’s for sure, CBDC-led solutions won’t be seeing too many participants in the crypto industry hopping up and down with excitement.
I wish I was a shadowy super coder.
— Willy Woo (@woonomic) July 27, 2021
With all the negative vibes towards crypto emanating from Senator Warren in the past couple of months, we can’t see her becoming a convert and aping into Bitcoin, Ethereum, dog-meme coins or porn-industry-enabling tokens any time soon.
But in her latest Squawk Box appearance, she did at least acknowledge that existing US and global financial systems have issues, suggesting that some elements of crypto could provide solutions.
“The question we have to ask is to look at the design of crypto to see where it may be better but also to see where it may inject its own risks into the system,” said Warren.
Sections of the crypto-loving community, meanwhile, have been responding with typical levels of cynicism.
Here's your daily reminder @ewarren shall forever be known as the Banking Broad. She is paid off and in the pockets of the big banks while trying to pose as Robin Hood.
She is as fake as they come.
— Ben Armstrong (@Bitboy_Crypto) July 28, 2021