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Joe Biden’s veto of cryptocurrency bill angers crypto industry


President Joe Biden vetoed a resolution late Friday that passed through both the House and Senate and was widely supported by the cryptocurrency industry. And it’s just the latest move from a president who’s put himself firmly in the crosshairs of powerful crypto forces who are dumping millions of dollars into ousting Biden in the upcoming 2024 presidential election.

The resolution would have repealed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Staff Accounting Bulletin 121, which sought to force financial institutions that are holding crypto to keep the digital assets on their own balance sheets, as Coindesk recently explained.

Biden called the effort to repeal the SEC decision a “Republican-led resolution,” though there were also Democrats who voted in favor. The president went on to say that the resolution would “inappropriately constrain the SEC’s ability to set forth appropriate guardrails and address future issues” and risked undercutting the SEC’s broader authority around various accounting practices.

“My Administration will not support measures that jeopardize the well-being of consumers and investors,” Biden said in an announcement posted online by the White House. “Appropriate guardrails that protect consumers and investors are necessary to harness the potential benefits and opportunities of crypto-asset innovation.

The veto angered plenty of crypto boosters online, including BowTieBill, a crypto newsletter.

“Biden Veto tells you everything you need to know about your friends ‘in crypto,’” the account wrote. “If they vote for Biden they have no money invested and are lying about how much they have in the space. Vote Trump or Risk More political clown-politics.”

That sentiment was shared by plenty of other accounts on X, which all seemed to paint Democrats as an existential threat to the survival of cryptocurrencies.

“President Biden position on crypto will cost him more than he realizes,” another prominent bitcoin booster, Jason Williams, wrote on Friday. “It was a really bad decision to veto that bill. Especially at this critical time. Especially with Trump going all out crypto. Gg.”

The Block reported as recently as last week that Biden’s administration was doing outreach in the crypto industry in what was characterized as a “tone shift,” around crypto. But the bitcoin bros aren’t just focused on the presidential race in the upcoming elections. Crypto super PACs are also planning to dump millions into U.S. Senate races in at least two states, Ohio and Michigan, according to recent reporting from the New York Times.

The super PAC Fairshake already reportedly spent $10 million in the California primary earlier this year to ensure progressive Democrat Katie Porter lost over her skepticism around crypto issues. The California primary only allows two candidates in the final election, regardless of party, and Porter lost out in the second spot to a largely unknown Republican after attack ads were aimed squarely against her. Democrat Adam Schiff, who’s been friendly to crypto, won the top spot in the primary.

Two other crypto super PACs, Protect Progress and Defend American Jobs, have also spent money on congressional races during this cycle. Protect Progress spent about $1.7 million to promote Democratic candidate Shomari Figures in one of Alabama’s seats for the U.S. House, according to the New York Times.

Donald Trump, the convicted felon and presumed Republican candidate for president this November, has come out in favor of cryptocurrencies, despite expressing skepticism about the fake money years ago. Trump and Biden are neck-and-neck in the national polls, with a national average maintained by FiveThirtyEight showing Trump at 40.9% and Biden at 39.8%. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is polling at 9.7% in the national average.

Biden stressed in his veto announcement that he was in favor of sensible regulation by the SEC, a clear signal that he’s not trying to make enemies of the crypto industry, no matter how it looks to crypto power players.

“My Administration is eager to work with the Congress to ensure a comprehensive and balanced regulatory framework for digital assets, building on existing authorities, which will promote the responsible development of digital assets and payment innovation and help reinforce United States leadership in the global financial system,” the Biden administration wrote.

A version of this article originally appeared on Gizmodo.



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