Kevin O’Leary of ‘Shark Tank’ lobbys Congress for Senator Lummis’ New Crypto Bill

The Responsible Finance Innovation Act, which has been in the works since last year, will offer a new framework for cryptocurrency regulation in the United States.

Kevin O’Leary rose to prominence as a co-host of “Shark Tank,” a show in which aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of investors. On March 9, it was “Mr. Wonderful” time to make a case for cryptocurrency in front of US lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

The chairman of the O’Shares Exchange-Traded Fund met with senators, representatives, and their staffers on Capitol Hill on Monday to advocate for Sen. Cynthia Lummis’ (R-Wyo.) Responsible Financial Innovation Act, he said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.” Sen. Lummis’ bill intends to fully incorporate digital assets into the US financial system, according to her.

The bill comes at a time when Congress is debating a potential framework for digital asset oversight, while debates on the subject are picking up. President Joe Biden issued a long-awaited executive order on digital assets this week, directing agencies and departments to develop industry recommendations. The directive represented the government’s first-of-its-kind approach to digital assets.

Sen. Lummis, a long-time bitcoin (BTC) holder, has been working on the “complete” legislation since at least 2021. In December, a senior staffer to the senator told CoinDesk that the bill would establish a crypto regulatory body, as well as government laws for stablecoins, consumer protection provisions, revised taxation instructions, and the formation of a self-regulated organization (SRO).

Sen. Lummis, a long-time bitcoin (BTC) holder, has been working on the “complete” legislation since at least 2021. In December, a senior staffer to the senator told CoinDesk that the bill would establish a crypto regulatory body, as well as government laws for stablecoins, consumer protection provisions, revised taxation instructions, and the formation of a self-regulated organization (SRO).

According to O’Leary, the bill’s 160-plus pages indicate an attempt by all parties on Capitol Hill to reach an accord on cryptocurrency legislation.
“This is one of the few nonpartisan initiatives going on right now on the Hill,” he remarked. “Many senators, both Democrats and Republicans, are interested in having this in their states.”

According to O’Leary, his meeting with lawmakers last week provided an opportunity for crypto education.

“They’re asking me about how I invested in [cryptocurrency], what my premise was for investing in this, and what I could and couldn’t do from a compliance standpoint,” O’Leary explained.

Even though the Responsible Financial Innovation Act is unlikely to be considered by Congress until after the November midterm elections – if at all – the bill is welcome news, according to the Canadian investor, because it could provide much-needed regulatory clarity and encourage institutional investors to enter the industry.

“When policy is implemented, you’ll see a trillion dollars pour into this market,” he said, adding, “We can finally accept the idea that any digital currency will not be legislated out of existence.”

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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