Kelly Loeffler - the CEO of Bakkt, the institutional crypto trading platform owned and governed by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) - has been hired to take over a temporarily vacant Senate seat.
Can Kelly Loeffler Push Crypto in Government?
Many see this maneuver as a positive step and believe that perhaps crypto will now have a friend in the U.S. Congress. Bakkt was first announced in late 2018, but it took nearly a full year for the platform to get off the ground. After several months of hype and hoopla, the trading system opened its doors for business on September 23 to very lackluster reception.
The platform traded less than 75 contracts during its opening weekend and the bitcoin price suffered heavily as a result. In just a few minutes, the cryptocurrency dropped from approximately $9,500 to about $8,100.
From there, interest and attention towards Bakkt began to grow at a relatively slow - but steady - pace, and eventually, the platform was selling millions of dollars in bitcoin futures contracts, setting new records and ultimately helping the cryptocurrency it was based on to push its price all the way to (albeit briefly) $10,000. At press time, bitcoin has settled at $7,500.
The battle between crypto and U.S. regulators seems to be longwinded and ongoing, with many attacking the new Libra cryptocurrency which is being issued by social media conglomerate Facebook. Both chief executive of Facebook and the head of its blockchain division Mark Zuckerberg and David Marcus have been grilled hard by Senate members regarding the coin’s properties and how the company plans to keep customers’ financial information safe and prevent white-collar crimes such as money laundering.
Zuckerberg eventually gave into regulatory pressure, claiming that without full approval, Facebook would have no choice but to exit the Libra Association.
Loeffler is one of the few members of Congress to boast accurate knowledge of both cryptocurrencies and blockchain, though while her presence in government is likely to stir some positivity, its unclear just how far she can go in her present seat. The post is meant only to be temporary, so while Loeffler will no doubt do all she can, her influence will likely end beyond a certain point.
There’s a Lot Happening, Lately
With so much going on in the American government between the impeachment hearings, Trump’s border wall and economic stimulation, one can’t help but wonder if blockchain and/ or crypto will get a day in the spotlight.
Still, Loeffler’s presence in government is likely to inspire more crypto advocates to take charge. Change cannot happen unless those who know how to do it best (or think they do) step up to the plate, and crypto isn’t likely to garner much headway unless people are willing to carve out a path for it. Perhaps crypto is getting closer to mainstream status than we all think…
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