☕ Can the Crypto Queen Beat the SEC? 👑 🏦

🥊 Senator Cynthia Lummis is ready to fight against the SEC’s latest crypto crackdown. ⚔️

When it comes to war, Queens usually aren’t at the front lines, knocking heads and taking human ears as trophies.

When it comes to chess, on the other hand, your Queen is your most powerful and valuable piece. Other than the King.

But once you lose your Queen, it’s almost not worth playing. Which is what I explained to my crying six-year-old nephew after I scared him by flipping our chess board after his Knight took my Queen.

In moving past that battle against my nephew Brian, who clearly cheats by the way, there’s a much larger chess game afoot between the SEC and all of crypto.

And it would appear that our queen has emerged in the form of Senator Lummis of Wyoming.

But does she have the moves to outwit the SEC?

Espresso Shots

☕️ Robinhood’s European Crypto Expansion

Robinhood, the popular, crypto-friendly investing app, has unveiled plans to expand its crypto offerings to the EU and establish a brokerage in the UK.

“With an experienced team in place, we will soon launch brokerage operations in the UK,” reads Robinhood’s Q3 earnings statement. “As another step in global expansion, we are also planning to launch crypto trading in the EU following our UK launch.”

And this expansion couldn’t have come at a better time. Robinhood may be looking to reinvigorate as crypto trading on the platform declined 55% in Q3.

Though it remains unclear whether Robinhood will expand its services to Nottingham, where both the exchange and its band of Merry Men are on the sheriff’s most wanted list.

☕️ CFTC Making Big Claims

The Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) threw down the gauntlet on Tuesday, claiming to be the top crypto enforcement agency.

The regulatory body claimed not only a “record setting number of digital asset cases” but that “In (financial year) 2023, the CFTC cemented its reputation as a premier enforcement agency in the digital asset space,” according to statements from the CFTC’s 2023 enforcement results.

This claim certainly throws some shade at Gary Gensler and the SEC, which have positioned themselves as the authority on crypto while receiving widespread criticism for overly punitive actions and a lack of regulatory clarity.

But if the CFTC is the “premier” enforcement agency, it’s sort of like the difference between cable television and HBO’s prestige television.

A comparison that will be only solidified when the CFTC rolls out its new slogan: “It’s not regulatory enforcement, it’s CFTC.”

☕️ The EU’s New Stablecoin Guidelines

The European Banking Authority (EBA) is rolling out new stablecoin guidelines that will include minimum capital and liquidity requirements.

“The liquidity stress testing will help issuers of tokens to better manage their reserve of assets and generally their liquidity risk. Based on the outcome of the liquidity stress testing, the EBA or, where applicable, the relevant competent authority/supervisor, may decide to strengthen the liquidity requirements of the issuer,” the new guidelines state.

On the whole, this regulatory effort is intended to both protect consumers and limit the potential for future bank runs.

But if the EBA was really serious about preventing bank runs, they’d outfit the tellers with heavier shoes.

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Spilling the Beans

Can the Crypto Queen Beat the SEC? 👑 🏦

Cynthia Lummis is a former attorney and has served as a junior United States senator since 2021, representing both the Republican party and her home state of Wyoming.

During her tenure in American politics, Sen. Lummis has weighed in, usually keeping within party lines, on all sorts of issues — ranging from gun control and climate change to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Surge in Iraq.

But there’s been one hot topic that Sen. Lummis has become famous for, and that’s crypto.

Sen Lummis’s pushes for crypto legislation and regulation, her outspoken criticism of its detractors, and the fact that she proudly holds over $100,000 in Bitcoin have rightfully earned her the moniker of “Crypto Queen.”

And it would appear that last week, the Crypto Queen rushed to our defense yet again.

In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, Sen. Lummis discussed her disapproval of the SEC’s actions against crypto, particularly the regulatory body’s latest action against crypto, which she called “overreaching.”

That action was initially issued back in March of 2022 as part of the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin 121. And as that piece of legislation prepares to go into effect, Lummis has vowed that she will do everything in her power to block it.

Why? Because this motion from the SEC, intended to protect crypto investors, may not be in the best interest of the consumer.

One of the policies included in the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin would require financial firms holding customers’ crypto assets to do so on their own balance sheets while simultaneously warning investors about the risks of safeguarding those assets.

Lummis believes that this practice would hurt investors more than help them if the aforementioned financial firms were to collapse.

Additionally, the way that the SEC submitted this motion is questionable.

The Staff Accounting Bulletin is supposed to consist of SEC guidance — but this policy sounds a lot more like a rule than a guideline. And a new, impactful rule should have been submitted to Congress, not piggybacked under new guidelines.

The SEC’s ploy actually ruffled quite a few feathers as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) also sounded off against the SEC and Gensler this week, with General Counsel Edda Emmanuelli Perez writing a decision officially condemning the manner in which this action was delivered.

“We conclude the Bulletin is a rule for the purposes of CRA because it meets the APA definition of a rule, and no exceptions apply. Therefore, the Bulletin is subject to the requirement that it be submitted to Congress,” the decision reads.

With Senator Lummis’s vow to block the effort at all costs and the GAO’s indictment of the SEC’s method, it’s likely the SEC’s action will be neutralized.

This development doesn’t just make the SEC and Gary Gensler look sloppy, it’s also pretty shady.

Now, at Coffee & Crypto, as well as on crypto Twitter, and really just crypto in general, dunking on Gary Gensler and the SEC is fairly common practice.

But you’ll have to forgive us for indulging in a little extra schadenfreude as it’s particularly satisfying to see these recriminations coming from inside the political sphere.

Yes, we’ve already appointed Senator Lummis Crypto Queen in the royal court of public, but actions like this just prove she’s worthy to wear the crown.

Crypto 101

Green Shoots: This allusion to new plant life is used to reference economic recovery or the emergence of positive data amid an economic downturn.

The Last Sip

The Last Sip: If Senator Lummis is the Queen in the Crypto Court, who’s the King? We’d put forth Brian Armstrong. He’s a strong orator, and he’s handsome, but in that bald, early stages of a create-a-character screen that could work with a crown and a big beard. Our Jester? That’s Elon Musk, the twisted prince of comedy who’s in the corner of the banquet juggling Doges for some reason.

Stay Caffeinated,

Coffee & Crypto Team

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DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own research.