Marc Beckman, chief executive officer of DMA United and senior fellow NYU Emerging Technologies Collaborative, interviewed US Congressman Byron Donalds of Florida about web3 and the year’s banking crisis, on center stage at the recent NFT.NYC event. Congressman Donalds, a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, his work has been instrumental in helping to shape web3’s essential role in helping to shape the American economic system moving forward.
Here are a few of the Congressman’s comments on several topics discussed during the interview:
On keeping Web3 jobs in America
"We're [U.S. Congress] doing things … to make sure that we promote … capital staying here in the United States. We're losing way too much capital abroad …"
"I'm really excited to see how much support we can get for a self-regulating enterprise for digital assets, because I think the ability of that will be infinitesimal in part because the CFTC, the SEC, the OCC, Treasury, the Fed, they don't have enough knowledge of this industry to regulate the industry. They don't... Sorry. It's true."
On SEC Chairman Gary Gensler
"The SEC's a particular problem right now because Gary Gensler has never met a rule that he doesn't like to expand for his own purposes. He's a very arrogant individual. He believes he's the smartest person in every room, which I find to be a particularly terrible brand of arrogance and hubris …"
On whether Congress understands Web3 technology
"They are … 95% not in the know."
On whether the Biden Administration is using the banking industry to kill cryptocurrency
"Yes. I'm just going to be blunt. Yes."
"What I've seen in my short time in Congress is that nothing is a coincidence with the government agency."
"I want to be very clear how I say this. They cannot visualize a world, or they cannot visualize a large segment of America's economy that is transacted without the watchful eye of the federal government. Because if it's happening around the federal government and not through the federal government, they feel that there's not enough control on that, which could either A, harm people, which is an altruistic motive, or B, it gives them a lack of ability to tax. And C, it gives them a lack of ability to have regulatory oversight and controls to better themselves."
On the U.S. government invading its citizens’ privacy through a Central Bank Digital Currency
"The privacy aspects of our transactions system is what makes us phenomenal. We should never lose that."
"This is still the same Treasury Department that wanted authority to look into everybody's bank account ..."
"So you mean to tell me that the same people within the Treasury who wanted that authority won't look behind the curtain in the blockchain …? Yeah, I don't believe that."
"So that's why my stance on [establishing a CBDC] has been one, we should not do it."
On whether the U.S. government will prohibit behavior by controlling private citizens’ access to monies through a CBDC
"I don't see why they wouldn't try to do something like that."
"We know that there are elements of Treasury and of the Fed who want to be able to look into your bank accounts. They tried to slip it into two pieces of legislation last Congress. We know this."
"So if I know those things to be true, why would I not think that using a digital token created by the Fed, that you're going to allow all my transactions? I'm having a hard time trusting that, which is why for me, the baseline is privacy of our transaction system matters more over anything else."
"It's a trust system at the end of the day, that matters. And I think you have a lot of members in the Capitol who still want to protect that."