ICYMI: Innovation vs. the Infra Bill…

ICYMI: Innovation vs. the Infra Bill…

ICYMI is an ongoing series of blog posts memorializing important Twitter threads from thought leaders at Coinbase and beyond. In this thread from 08/06/2021 Brian talks about key moments for the future of crypto, including a recently proposed infrastructure bill.

A headshot of Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO, smiling in a black tee shirt
@brian_armstrong

There are a few key moments that define our future. One is happening now in the Senate w/ the infrastructure bill. At the 11th hour Mark Warner has proposed an amendment that would decide which foundational technologies are OK and which are not in crypto. This is disastrous.

Senator Mark Warner has asked for proof of stake validators to comply with the impossible, but not proof of work miners. [Read about the differences between proof of work and proof of stake here.] Why? It’s not clear, but we could find ourselves with the Senate deciding which types of crypto will survive government regulation.

This is the government trying to pick winners and losers in a nascent industry today, where some new technology is being developed every month. They are guaranteed to get it wrong, by writing in a few exceptions by hand today.

Imagine if the government decided that iOS is OK but Android isn’t. And that software developers building on iOS can thrive, but Android is outlawed.

Our Senators are voting tomorrow on the future of innovation in finance and crypto in America. If they choose the Sen. Mark Warner amendment, we will see future development of blockchain technology move offshore to countries like China that are currently embracing it.

Crypto is still in its early stages. Innovators across this country are working to make crypto networks better, enabling new apps like NFTs, smart contracts, and DeFi. These will bring enormous benefits to Americans, and help ensure our place as a financial hub.

If the U.S. fails to embrace the innovation happening in crypto, it risks becoming a financial backwater, missing out on one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. Imagine if we had missed out on the internet, and the largest internet companies had been built overseas.

This debate in the Senate started because the govt sees the growing crypto industry as a source of tax revenue. We agree everyone must pay their taxes. There is no debate on this topic. But destroying some of the most exciting innovations in the process is unconscionable.

History will not be kind to any politician who tries to block American’s access to new technologies. Americans have a very low tolerance for taking away our rights, and harming economic growth.

Contact your Senators and urge them to vote for the Wyden-Lummis-Toomey amendment and vote NO on the Warner-Portman amendment. Let’s keep crypto alive and thriving, we’re just getting started.

In Emilie Choi’s Top of Mind email on 08/09/2021, she also referred readers to a thoughtful blog post on the same subject by Fred Wilson.

*We’ve added links where appropriate. You can see original thread here.


ICYMI: Innovation vs. the Infra Bill… was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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