Saturday, December 5, 2020

Pro-Bitcoin candidate wins Wyoming senate seat

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Former Republican congresswoman and current Bitcoin holder Cynthia Lummis has won a seat in the U.S. Senate against Democratic challenger Merav Ben-David.

According to a Nov. 4 report from Fortune, Lummis was an early adopter of Bitcoin (BTC), having first purchased the cryptocurrency in 2013 thanks to a tip from her son-in-law, Will Cole. Cole has served as the Chief Product Officer at blockchain financial services firm Unchained Capital since December 2019.

“Cynthia believes in the philosophy behind Bitcoin, not just that it is a new asset class,” said financial firm Avanti’s founder and CEO Caitlin Long. She later tweeted that Lummis want to defend Bitcoin “against federal encroachment.”

Lummis, who defeated Ben-David with 73.1% of the vote, will be acting as a lawmaker over a state that has been very accepting of crypto-friendly institutions.

San Francisco-based crypto exchange Kraken became the first cryptocurrency business to receive a charter to operate as a bank in the United States through Wyoming’s State Banking Board. Last week, Avanti announced the same board had given it unanimous approval to launch a crypto-friendly bank under the name Avanti Bank & Trust.

The University of Wyoming announced on Nov. 2 it would be launching a Center for Blockchain and Digital Innovation which will allow university students more opportunities to study cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.

The Republican senator’s BTC holdings makes her one of the few representatives in the U.S. Congress to own cryptocurrency. Some representatives including Florida congressman Darren Soto personally accept contributions in crypto, while The Chamber of Digital Commerce’s Political Action Committee launched an initiative in October to donate $50 BTC to campaigns for every member of congress as part of its efforts to promote crypto awareness.

Lummis served as the representative of the sole congressional district for the state of Wyoming from 2009 to 2017. She will be replacing outgoing Republican senator Mike Enzi.

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