Long before “Bitcoin Mayors” saw a huge surge like Francis Suarez n Miami for instance or Eric Adams in New York City, there was always Andrew Yang, a pro-crypto presidential candidate who was the co-founder of Venture for America. Yang counted Bitcoin, Math, and Universal Basic Income among his main talking points.
Yang’s current focus is now on his Forward Party PAC as well as his lobbying for DAO Lobby3, which has the objective to use crypto to spur change in Washington. This comes after Yang’s unsuccessful runs for President back in 2020 and runs for New York City Mayor in 2021.
According to Yang, the change that’s on the way is in the form of crypto regulation, regardless of whether the industry has braced itself for it or not. On a recent podcast, Yang described the regulation on crypto in Washington as an oncoming train that can’t hope to be stopped, with the only question being left in the end being “What’s the cargo?”
The White House’s recent “Executive Order on ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” signed by President Biden points to him being right, however, the gist of the order was more along the lines of being a call to action to agencies, to get them on the same page than a concrete proposal for what these rules will be.
“The days of folks saying there shouldn’t be any regulation in this space are ending,” Yang states. “The days of being off of DC’s menu or radar screen are very, very quickly coming to an end. And so the question is, What will the rules be? Will they be intelligent guard rails that help manage the risks, and frankly, mainstream some aspects of Web3? Or will they be unmindful of the positive side of the ledger in terms of innovation, jobs, technological developments—and push a lot of this stuff offshore? No one’s quite sure where it’s going to land.”
Yang’s point of view is that representatives from the crypto industry need to combine their efforts by teaming up with each other and staying together in order to get on the same page, a lot like the regulators are, and that they need to work with Washington to ensure that these rules will not be draconian.
Yang stated, “The value difference is so immense, that it seems to me to be common sense to try to paint a broader, more holistic, more accurate picture of the community and the uses of the technology,” and “so that the regulations fall somewhere on, as a friend of mine put it, ‘the non-insane realm.'”
Of course, lobbying for any openness to crypto in D.C. will prove to be quite the challenge, and Yang’s best guess about why that is points to the number of people in Washington who have a crypto wallet is “vanishingly small.”
He also admitted the fact that certain prominent politicians, a ton of them in his own former Democratic Party no less, have made statements regarding crypto repeatedly, that “indicate hostility or negative attitude. I have it on reasonably good authority that that attitude is shared by a variety of people within the Treasury Department and the SEC. So if you just let nature take its course, I’m going to suggest that the result might be very, very unfriendly.”