Last week, the leaders of the crypto ecosystem flocked to the nation’s capital for the DC Blockchain Summit, all day in-person policy discussion on the current state of crypto regulation in Washington DC. Over eight hundred innovators, technologists, developers, investors, and entrepreneurs engaged in policy conversation on the evolving digital assets field. The woman behind the summit is Perianne Boring, a pioneer in digital assets who, in 2014, launched the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world’s largest trade association representing the blockchain technology industry.
Boring’s eight-year commitment to foster conversation in Washington DC around blockchain technologies has not gone unnoticed. At the DC Blockchain Summit that took place on May 24, 2022, an all-star lineup of speakers and members of US Congress from all sides of political spectrum, from Senator Cory Booker ( D-NJ) to Senator Cynthia Lummins ( R-WY) to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ( D-NY), shared the same stage asserting that bipartisanship is still possible on Capitol Hill.
“It’s just a huge testament that this industry really wants to work with regulators and make sure we get a legal framework that supports the growth of its ecosystem. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about this space,” began Perianne Boring.
“Senator Elizabeth Warren said, we’re all ‘Shadowy Super-Coders’. She said that in a Senate hearing. I don’t see any shadowy people here, do you?
“I know the preconceived notion about this industry is that it is just trying to skirt regulations,” but Perianne says the community wants to work with the policy makers “to get the regulations right.”
The Chamber of Digital Commerce’s focus at the summit was, according to Perianne , on how the community can work together with regulators to protect consumers and protect investors in a way so that “we’re not stifling innovation of an important ecosystem.”
In recent years, cryptocurrencies have seen explosive growth, reaching a $3 trillion market cap in November 2021. Under the American presidency of G7, the Digital Payments Expert Group was established to look at the Central Bank Digital Currencies, stablecoins, and other digital payment issues.
“Around 16% of adult Americans, approximately 40 million people, have ever invested in, traded, or used cryptocurrency based on recent surveys,” a White House official told The Pavlovic Today in March this year, a few days before President Biden was about to sign his executive order on digital assets.
As the research studies project the US adoption of digital assets to be at 90% by 2029, Perianne Boring sees cryptocurrency as “the will of the people.” However, Perriane believes that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the “number one blocker” against digital assets progress and the American economic boom.
“The SEC could address these issues today, but they don’t want to,” said Perianne Boring.
—Why do you think that’s the case? Why is it taking so long?
“I do not know,” she responded. “I think it’s clearly in investors’ interest to have a clear regulatory framework. I don’t believe the SEC is operating within its mandate. And they’re harming investors by their lack of action.”
—Can the White House do something to help?
“The White House could potentially apply some degree of oversight,” said Boring.
—But you and the Chamber of Digital Commerce are satisfied with the executive order?
“I wouldn’t say that we are satisfied,” she responded. “I think the executive order has the potential to be helpful. But you know, the biggest issue for our industry today is the lack of regulatory clarity from the SEC.”
Perianne Boring, by her admission, has “never been a crypto skeptic.” In 2011, while working on economic and monetary policy on the Capitol Hill, a friend introduced her to crypto. “He was like, I think you’re going to like this Bitcoin thing.” A virtual currency that a company or government did not create struck her interest. She got some Bitcoin and set out on a journey to ‘learn more’ about it.
“Back in that time, there weren’t a lot of places to go to learn about it. So I literally was watching YouTube videos of developers, and reading different articles,” Perianne Boring recalled. “I came to the realization that this is going to be the most important technology I’ll see in my lifetime. And I really wanted to work in this space, and to follow up more and learn, as much as I could.”
The financial crisis of 2008, according to Perianne Boring “really impacted” her family as well as the people of her home state, Florida. “I wanted a better economy for my generation,” she revealed. “I want to see a financial system that’s more inclusive. I want to address the unsustainable debt issues that we have here. Also globally–I’m very concerned about that. I want our financial system to be sound. And I want it to work. I believe Bitcoin and blockchain technology is the solution.
Perianne has chosen DC as the battle ground and has been fighting for blockchain “from a policy perspective for a number of years working on the Hill.
—Do you sometimes feel like you’re facing an uphill battle?
“Yeah, absolutely,” Perianne responded. “I mean, it’s very hard. We’ve been doing this for eight years. And there are a lot of hard days out there,” she shared. “I can’t tell you how many times people on our team were having to work through the weekends,” she said, explaining how the Digital Chamber of Commerce has to keep up with trends in the industry that is moving at an incredibly rapid pace. ”We’re also a nonprofit, so no one, myself or anyone on my team, is becoming wealthy by doing this type of work. It’s not very glamorous. And it is hard, but I feel like I’ve always felt it was important work.”
Perianne Boring’s message for those consumers who might be still skeptical and those excited about digital assets is an informed one. “We’re in a very young and nascent space. It’s incredibly important to educate yourself before you are able to enter this space,” she shared her advice. “Don’t invest more than you can afford. Don’t invest in things that you don’t understand. There’s a lot of things in the crypto space that are experiments. There are going to be winners, and there’s going to be failures. That’s just the reality of being at a young age in the technology space.”
The fight for crypto acceptance and sensible regulation from the SEC, continues. With more legislators attending events like the DC Blockchain Summit there may be signs that the tide, at last, is beginning to turn.