Ted Cruz Introduces Bill to Block Fed CBDC

In a bid to prevent the Federal Reserve from launching a “direct-to-consumer” CBDC, Republican Senator Ted Cruz has introduced a bill aimed at blocking the move. Cruz is concerned that a retail CBDC could be used by the federal government for financial surveillance, and is seeking to protect American citizens’ financial privacy while maintaining the dollar’s dominance and promoting innovation. This is not the first time that Cruz has attempted to block the Fed’s CBDC initiative. He previously introduced a similar bill, along with fellow Republican Senators Braun and Grassley, in March 2022, but it failed to progress beyond the introduction phase.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and several large financial firms have made significant progress on a U.S. dollar CBDC since President Joe Biden signed an executive order entitled “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets” in March 2022. In November, they participated in a 12-week digital dollar pilot program with Mastercard and SWIFT.

Cruz, Braun, and Grassley are not alone in their opposition to CBDCs. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has also called on state lawmakers to introduce legislation banning the digital dollar in Florida.

However, proponents of CBDCs argue that they have the potential to revolutionize the way we use money, making transactions faster, cheaper, and more secure. CBDCs could also help to reduce the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, such as volatility and lack of regulation. They could also improve financial inclusion by providing access to banking services to people who are currently underserved by traditional banks.

It remains to be seen whether Cruz’s bill will gain any traction, but it is clear that the debate over CBDCs is far from over. As more countries explore the possibility of launching their own digital currencies, it is likely that we will see increasing calls for regulation and oversight to ensure that CBDCs are developed responsibly and with the best interests of citizens in mind.


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Bitcoin Mining is a ‘Net Plus’ for the Environment: US Senator Ted Cruz

United States Senator Ted Cruz has showered accolades on Bitcoin mining as a venture, taking a wildly divergent view from major critics who believe Bitcoin mining is damaging to the environment. 


According to Senator Cruz, Bitcoin mining is actually an advantage to the environment, explicitly calling it a “net plus” venture, especially if miners focus on utilizing renewable energy sources.

Cryptocurrency is a net plus for the environment. Being able to unlock a lot of renewables is important for the environment. Taking stranded natural gas and putting it to productive use is a big positive,” Cruz said, adding that “Bitcoin also is a room full of entrepreneurs, full of people that are providing for their families, and that prosperity is a net positive for the environment as well.” 

One of the other reasons why Ted Cruz believes Bitcoin mining is advantageous is its potential to be switched on and off the grid. Cruz highlighted that Bitcoin could share the grid with other forms of energy, a feature beneficial in a natural disaster. 

“Because of the ability to Bitcoin mining to turn on or off instantaneously, if you have a moment where you have a power shortage or a power crisis, whether it’s a freeze or some other natural disaster where power generation capacity goes down, that creates the capacity to instantaneously shift that energy to put it back on the grid,” he added. 

All over the world, regulators have often frowned against the perceived role of Bitcoin miners. The fears of environmental damage have made the Chinese government ban mining activities, while many other regions are restricting resources that can make miners less effective.

The argument for the status of miners in the US is still largely debatable. However, comments like the one from Senator Cruz can help polish the overall outlook for the sector positively.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Ted Cruz buys the Bitcoin dip

Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz, the junior Republican senator from Texas, is putting his money where his mouth is.

According to a financial disclosure filed on Friday 4th Feb, Cruz bought between $15k and $50k worth of Bitcoin (BTC) on January 25th, using the River brokerage.

At the time, Bitcoin was trading between $36k and $37k, and over the subsequent days it has risen to a current price of around $41,600. Assuming he hasn’t sold his bitcoins and incurred any short term capital gains taxes, his current profit on the transaction is in the region of  $2,000 – $6,850.

Source: United States Senate Financial Disclosures

Following the example of fellow Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Cruz spent much of the latter half of the crypto bull run aligning himself with the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, as his state benefited from an influx of Bitcoin mining companies and interest in the subject became more widespread.

He has advocated for the acceptance of cryptocurrency payments at gift shops and vending machines in the U.S. Capitol complex, and opposed a provision in the recent infrastructure bill that critics said would extend the definition of a ‘broker’ to miners, and potentially even validators and coders.

During the current cold spell engulfing the state of Texas, some crypto miners slowed or ceased operations to help protect the state’s energy grid infrastructure, which failed during a prolonged freeze in 2021. Cruz himself was notoriously absent for part of that time, as he was visiting the Mexican resort of Cancún.

River Financial is licensed in a number of U.S. states, but does not note a Texas Money Transmitter license on its website. According to the Texas Department of Banking guidance on Virtual Currencies, however, “no currency exchange license is required in Texas to conduct any type of transaction exchanging virtual with sovereign currencies.”

A number of Members of Congress, including Democrats Jake Auchinloss of Massachusetts and Marie Newman of Illinois, and Republicans Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Barry Moore of Alabama, have disclosed holdings in cryptocurrency or related stocks.


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US Senator To Propose Bill To Accelerate Crypto Adoption: Report

US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is pushing to promote crypto awareness and widespread acceptance of digital assets with a new resolution.

The legislator submitted the Adopting Cryptocurrency in Congress as an Exchange of Payment for Transactions (ACCEPT) resolution on Monday, proposing that administrative managers on Capitol Hill engage the services of merchants that accept cryptocurrencies as payment.

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The concurrent resolution also aims to support digital currency payments in congressional gift shops.

“The Architect of the Capitol, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives shall each, for the Capitol Buildings that are under their jurisdiction— 

(1) subject to subsection (c), solicit and enter into contracts to provide food service and vending machines in such Capitol Buildings with persons that will accept digital assets as payment for goods; and 

(2) encourage the gift shops in such Capitol Buildings to accept digital assets as payment for goods.”

Despite pushing for crypto-supporting merchants, the resolution says priority will still be given to cost-effective businesses offering the most value to customers.

Cruz submits his proposal as consumers embrace digital assets and a growing number of merchants begin to accept crypto payments nationwide.

Senator Cruz has been at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption among US legislators, even suggesting last month that his native state of Texas should utilize natural gas flares for Bitcoin (BTC) mining. His comments earned praise from Coin Metrics co-founder Nic Carter, who said that Cruz’s ideas were “absolutely right.”

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Opposition mounts to Biden’s OCC pick, fears she could ‘regulate crypto into oblivion’

Resistance is mounting to U.S. President Joe Biden’s reported plans to tap a staunch banking and crypto critic to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

The proposed nomination of law professor, Saule Omarova, to head the federal bank regulatory agency has raised eyebrows in political and financial circles as she is widely seen as anti crypto and anti big banks.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz has become the latest crypto ally to speak out, claiming that her decisions, if nominated, could change the future of the industry in a tweet on Sept. 28.

“Not only is Saule Omarova, Biden’s pick to lead the OCC, a threat to our traditional economy, she also wants to regulate crypto into oblivion. Crypto faces future-defining government regulations. This nomination needs to be stopped.”

A number of big banks and banking associations are also against the nomination with the American Bankers Association debating whether to publicly fight the decision. ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said “we have serious concerns about her ideas for fundamentally restructuring the nation’s banking system,” in a statement on Sept. 24.

Ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, Pat Toomey, also spoke out in opposition of the nomination last week stating that he has “serious reservations” given her “extreme leftist ideas.”

President and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, Rebeca Rainey, said that Omarova “would displace locally-based community banking and restrict economic growth in local communities,” according to reports.

The OCC oversees America’s banking giants such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Citi Group and would also encompass aspects of the crypto industry.

Omarova, who has previously said she wanted to “end banking as we know it,” is expected to enforce stricter rules. She has also claimed that the rise of cryptocurrencies is “benefiting mainly the dysfunctional financial system we already have.”

She shares views with anti-crypto lawmakers such as Senator Elizabeth Warren in that digital assets threaten to destabilize the economy, according to Bloomberg. For her part, Warren stated that the nomination was “tremendous news,” and looked forward to heavier regulations.

Related: New OCC head requests review of cryptocurrency rules

The OCC has morphed from one of the Treasury’s most crypto-forward agencies into one that changed direction under subsequent leadership. Former head of Coinbase’s legal team, Brian Brooks, joined the OCC in March 2020 and paved the way for legislation allowing banks to custody crypto.

In January, the banking regulator told national banks that they could run independent nodes for distributed ledger networks such as stablecoins. However, then the tone changed. On Sept. 21 acting head of the OCC, Michael Hsu, warned that decentralized finance products are similar to those that catalyzed the global financial crisis in 2008.


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Here’s Why the US Infrastructure Bill Continues to Worry the Crypto Industry

The infrastructure bill is edging closer to passing by the U.S Senate despite the delays. The delays are coming from lawmakers opposing the bill’s amendment about crypto, saying that there has not been enough discussion. 

Inflicting the Crypto Industry

The infrastructure bill is one of the most significant investments of its kind, and with its popularity, senators are eager to deliver.

The package aims at unleashing billions of dollars to upgrade roads, water pipes, internet, and other public utilities for the nations, making it among the top of President Joe Biden’s priorities.

Despite the many developments that the bill might bring to the cryptocurrency space, it could be a disaster. The proposed amendment exempts traditional miners from participating in proof of work systems. However, those using proof of stake will report to the IRS to raise at least $28 billion in taxes from crypto. 

Crypto Enthusiasts Remain Wary

According to Ted Cruz on Twitter, when the Senate passes it, it will inflict billions of dollars of damage on the crypto industry, which is currently growing at a good pace and is exciting. He also added that it would drive much of the crypto industry overseas. 

Cruz continued to say that the larger senate population does not understand much about cryptocurrency and has not read in detail about what the bill means for the crypto space. Saying that it is a reckless and harmful move, Cruz believes that there should be more reviews on the part of the bill that pertains to crypto.

On the other hand, those in favor of the amendment cannot see any extraordinary burden on the crypto industry. Senator Elizabeth Warren said that the bill is not a direct tax but simply a reporting requirement.

The Legislation Progress for the Bill

On Saturday, the legislation took a huge step forward when voted in by 97 lawmakers, including 18 republicans. These votes surpassed the 60-vote threshold needed for most legislation in the 100- seat senate. 

However, all 100 have to provide consent to expedite the process; they must wait until Monday or Tuesday. According to the parliamentary rules, this is required so that the bill can move in stages for discussion. 

Once the Senate has passed the bill, it will go to the House of Representatives that Democrats control by a narrow margin. Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, has repeatedly said that she will only bring the bill to vote once the Senate has passed a separate $3.5 trillion bill. The other bill focuses on funding that will allow fighting climate change and addressing home health care which Democrats want to push through without the Republican vote using “reconciliation.”

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