House Dems skip closed-door briefing on Bitcoin to attend Roe protests after Supreme Court ruling

On Friday, Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee held a closed briefing on Bitcoin’s environmental impact⁠ today, The Block has learned.

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Three sources confirmed the noon briefing to The Block. A memo for the briefing seen by The Block identified four witnesses who were unanimously anti-crypto.

One, Princeton professor Arvind Narayanan, tweeted shortly before appearing that “blockchain has so far proven useless. Worse, it’s proven a costly distraction to people and communities who are trying to solve real problems.”

Another, Yvonne Taylor, leads an environmental organization that is working to shut down mining operations in upstate New York, calling it “the test case for the encroaching wave of cryptocurrency mining that could result in the conversion of nearly 30 shuttered upstate power plants.”

Attendance to the briefing, however, was sparse.

A Supreme Court decision Friday morning overturned the Roe v. Wade decision, ending the federal right to abortion. Consequently, protests have surrounded the Supreme Court complex and pulled in a number of the Democrats on the committee, including Chair Maxine Waters.

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A source with knowledge of the briefing noted that no representatives attended, with very few staff. Prior to addressing the main issue of environmental impact, those in attendance focused on recent crashes in crypto, especially Celsius and Terra. 

Staff for Waters had not responded to requests for comment as of press time. 

© 2022 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Kollen Post is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things policy and geopolitics from Washington, DC. That includes legislation and regulation, securities law and money laundering, cyber warfare, corruption, CBDCs, and blockchain’s role in the developing world. He speaks Russian and Arabic. You can send him leads at [email protected]

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