Republican Sen. Lummis: Democrat Sen. Gillibrand Is Teaching Me About NFTs

In brief

  • U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis appeared on the latest episode of Decrypt’s gm podcast.
  • She told Decrypt that she’s learning about NFTs from her crypto bill co-sponsor, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand.

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis has been described as the “Bitcoin Senator” and the Senate’s “crypto queen” given her support of crypto assets and attempts to draft legislation regarding their regulation. Her state of Wyoming has also become a hotspot for DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, due to a law that legally recognizes them as LLCs.

But on the latest episode of Decrypt’s gm podcast, Lummis admitted she has yet to get into NFTs, the blockchain tokens that represent ownership of art, collectibles, event tickets and access passes, and more.

“I don’t own NFTs, and NFTs are among the mysteries to me,” Senator Lummis told Decrypt’s Dan Roberts and Stacy Elliott.

Lummis did say she’s now learning about NFTs from a surprising source: Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who is co-sponsoring a bill with Senator Lummis to help regulate crypto assets. According to Lummis, Gillibrand has become familiar with NFTs through her children, and now is sharing that knowledge.

“I’m learning about this from Senator Gillibrand, because she has children who have NFTs, and she’s the one who is teaching me about how they are used,” said Lummis. “And so it’s a good thing that I have such a knowledgeable partner in this… It helps enrich and fill out my own dance card when it comes to learning about it.”

The NFT market surged over the course of 2021, generating $25 billion worth of trading volume, per data from DappRadar. Halfway through 2022, the market has already added $20 billion worth of organic trading volume to that tally, although volume has declined significantly over the last two months due to falling crypto and NFT prices alike.

Senator Lummis said that she’s also taking the opportunity to learn more about how DAOs work. A DAO is an online community that assembles around a shared purpose or cause, such as investing in NFTs, raising funds for charity, or governing a DeFi protocol. Membership is often represented through ownership of a governance token or an NFT.

“I learn stuff every day,” she said. “And for somebody my age to get to work in an area where literally you’re learning new things every single day is so, so exciting. And so it’s been a great shot in the arm for me in terms of my enthusiasm about how to legislate in a brand new area that really needs a clear and appropriate level of regulation, but can still innovate.”

On the latest episode of gm, the “Bitcoin Senator” also discussed why she thinks both Bitcoin and Ethereum will bounce back from the crypto market crash, as well as SEC pushback to her bill and the need for regulatory clarity around crypto assets.

Listen to the full episode of the gm podcast wherever you get your podcasts, and make sure to subscribe.

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