Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., said during an Axios virtual event today that she is confident her bipartisan cryptocurrency legislation with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., will allow members of Congress to find “common ground” and a better understanding of digital assets.

The legislation – which the senators are still working on – would create a broad-based regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry.

Sen. Lummis said the legislation will be introduced as “one big piece, so people can see the big picture, how the commodities components work with the securities components, with the stable coins, and with a potential CBDC [Central Bank Digital Currency].”

Once the senators introduce the larger piece of legislation, Lummis said they “may break it into five or six distinct parts that will go through different committees.”

“We’ll be working with leadership to help decide how it will be broken out as a bill and have different combinations of Republican and Democrat co-sponsors for the various components of the bill,” Sen. Lummis said. “We hope that we’ll bring in more understanding and buy-in as different committees become more conversant with what is still a very new – to most senators – component of our economy that is coming becoming more significant each and every day.”

The senators are dealing with a $1.8 trillion industry that is growing every day. In March, President Biden signed an executive order that aims to address the risks and benefits of digital assets – including cryptocurrencies – and their underlying technologies, which Sen. Lummis said “dovetails pretty nicely” with her and Sen. Gillibrand’s work.

Lummis stressed the importance of a regulatory framework for crypto, where stakeholders can “understand the rules of the road but can still innovate because the innovation in this space is absolutely astounding.”

“I know it’s a divided Congress on very partisan issues, but digital assets are nonpartisan,” Lummis said. “We’re finding this is an area where we’re seeing a lot of common ground among members that maybe on a partisan basis, you wouldn’t put together. That way, we’re going to have a very bipartisan approach to this issue.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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