- Sen. Cynthia Lummis asked the Fed’s Jerome Powell why Wyoming crypto banks have yet to be approved.
- Powell said the Fed was moving carefully because the proposed institutions are “hugely precedential.”
- Lummis has previously said Powell stands in the way of broad crypto adoption.
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Wyoming bitcoin evangelist Senator Cynthia Lummis asked the Fed’s Jerome Powell for a lifeline on proposed crypto banks in her home state during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
Lummis said the banks, called Special Purpose Depository Institutions, have “stonewalled” for over a year as the Federal Reserve processes their applications.
“My disappointment is profound. My frustration is profound,” Lummis, a Republican, said at the hearing. “Chairman Powell, throw me a lifeline.”
Wyoming has passed crypto-friendly legislation that would allow cryptocurrencies to be held in brick-and-mortar institutions, known as SPDIs, instead of simply apps and digital wallets. So far, Kraken and Avanti have received their bank charters in the state, but have yet to receive approval from the Fed.
When asked his reaction about the state of the proposed institutions, Powell, who is poised to be confirmed for another four years as chair of the US central bank, said the Fed has been looking carefully at them but has been hesitant because they’re “hugely precedential.”
Lummis previously wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal suggesting Powell and vice chair nominee Lael Brainard stand in the way of broader crypto adoption. Lummis has also encouraged other senators to block their nominations, Decrypt reported previously.
Lummis is well-known on Capitol Hill for her pro-crypto stance, and she’s one of only two senators invested in digital assets. In August, she bought at least $50,000 worth of bitcoin when it slumped, and her campaign even accepted bitcoin contributions.
A previous report from Bloomberg said the senator planned to introduce the first comprehensive crypto bill, which would create a new regulatory body to oversee digital assets.