Sponsors of US Crypto Bill seek feedback on GitHub and get it • The Register
The two US senators behind a bill to bring some order to cryptocurrency funding have posted their legislation on Microsoft’s GitHub for comment from the unruly public.
The bill, known as the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, has been presented by Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on June 7 to create a regulatory framework governing digital assets, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
And its sponsors now want netizens to try to refine the language of the bill.
“The digital asset industry was built by individuals and will continue to be supported by individuals,” said Senator Lummis, by Twitter Wednesday. “That’s why @SenGillibrand and I want input from the grassroots. If you have any constructive thoughts on our legislation, please make your voice heard on GitHub.”
On Thursday, Lummis, sometimes called the Senator of HODL to reflect its commitment to Bitcoin, attempted to broaden the potential pool of commentators, perhaps aware that those familiar with GitHub are likely to represent a fairly select group of technical people.
“Point of clarification: if you do not identify yourself as a workdon’t be discouraged,” she said. said, using another term for Bitcoin supporters. “Comments are open to everyone, plebs, non-plebs, no-coiners and newbies alike. We want to hear from anyone who has constructive feedback to share. But please keep it civil and relevant .”
Some sound advice can be found among the 81 issues (42 open, 39 closed) and 16 pull requests submitted at the time of this story’s publication, but much of the wisdom of the mob comes down to trolling, like a pull request which proposes a rewrite of the bill as a bee story.
There are also more substantive criticisms, such as Number 37 by Karan Goel, software engineer at Google, who asked Lummis to explain conflicting statements about owning bitcoin personally and owning it in blind trust – personal control of bitcoin assets while writing a law to regulate bitcoin sounds a lot like to a conflict of interest. This GitHub issue was quickly closed.
Another one, Number 95titled “I didn’t expect the government to support pyramid schemes, but alas, here we are”, was shut down due to the existence of a similar open scheme Number 9“Ban crypto since its [sic] a pyramid scheme.” Number 30“This bill lacks a provision to imprison all crypto businessmen, crooks and cult leaders,” was also closed.
So there is Number 19“Crypto is a ticking time bomb,” by Chris Shaffer, president of New York-based software consulting firm Scout Corp, and former CTO of a blockchain company.
“‘Blockchain’ is nothing but a buzzword that exists to trick lay people into giving their money to charlatans,” he wrote, calling for strict regulation. “Its ecosystem is a collection of Rube Goldberg devices designed for the express purpose of making compliance with tax, anti-money laundering, disclosure, liability and other laws difficult, if not impossible. Period. no baby to throw away with this bathwater.”
Number 119by computer scientist Phillip Hallam-Baker, questioned the choice of GitHub as the appropriate forum, for its technical limitations and for the type of audience it attracts.
“‘Cryptocurrencies’ are not a technology problem, it’s a financial problem,” he wrote. “Framing the issue as primarily technical and directing the discussion to a technology-focused site invites input from people whose primary expertise is in technology, most of whom have minimal interest in understanding how financial markets actually work in the practice.
Beyond the other snark, there are posts that attempt to make constructive suggestions, like Number 25“Prohibit the use of digital assets as support for stablecoins / ‘algorithmic stablecoins'”, among others.
Finally, legislative staffers and lobbyists will rework the language to address the concerns of financial firms that may be affected if the bill is passed and signed into law. Perhaps campaign donations will follow. The authors of the bill are under no obligation to do anything with any of these GitHub posts, but they could simply be credited with meeting the techs on their own turf. ®