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Former Congressman Kendrick Meek Joins Coinbase Advisory Council: Why This Matters

Last Updated May 21, 2024 3:30 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated May 21, 2024 3:30 PM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Ex-Congressman Kendrick Meek joins Coinbase’s global advisory council.
  • This strategic placement of a Democrat could help FIT21 crypto bill to be approved
  • The FIT21 crypto bill faces crucial House vote.
  • The vote could be a defining moment for Maxine Waters and Hakeem Jeffries.

Former Congressman Kendrick Meek has joined Coinbase’s  global advisory council. The Florida Democrat’s appointment is comes before before the House vote on the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21).

Last summer, the bipartisan bill easily passed through House committees. However, it now faces a challenging vote, requiring crucial Democratic support to succeed.

Ex-Congressman Joins Coinbase’s Global Advisory Council

Faryar Shirzad, Coinbase’s chief policy officer, praised Meek’s appointment . He talked about his “seasoned leadership” as crucial for modernizing the system as 52 million Americans got involved with crypto.

The proposed FIT21 bill aims to clarify the regulatory framework for digital assets. It gives specific roles to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Notably, it wants to give the CFTC greater oversight over most cryptocurrencies, which would be treated like commodities.

Championing Digital Asset Inclusivity on Coinbase’s Advisory Council

Kendrick Meek represented Florida’s 17th Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2011. During his time in Congress, Meek served on the House Ways and Means Committee, the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, and chaired Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

In a recent statement, Meek expressed his views on the potential of digital assets. He said :

“As we work to address the compounding economic stressors of the traditional financial system, digital assets offer new opportunities to address the systemic issues that have plagued our financial system and failed too many Americans. And for Black and Hispanic Americans and other underserved communities, the need for a more equitable and inclusive financial system has never been more urgent.”

The council, which was launched in May, welcomed heavyweights such as former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, former Representative Stephanie Murphy, and others last November. Its initial members included former Senator Patrick Toomey and former congressmen Tim Ryan and Sean Patrick Maloney, with Maloney stepping down earlier this year.

FIT21 Vote: Decisive Moment in Crypto Legislation and Political Careers

On Monday, the Blockchain Association advocated for a complete House floor vote on the FIT21 initiative. If passed by both House and Senate, it would mark the first crypto-focused regulation in the US. American regulators, particularly the SEC, have been under fire for their enforcement-centric approach to managing the crypto industry.

Ryan Selkis, CEO of Messari, said  the vote would test whether cryptocurrency remains a partisan issue, adding that it could be a “legacy-defining” event for Representative Maxine Waters. Additionally, the outcome of the House vote could influence Hakeem Jeffries’ prospects of becoming the next Speaker of the House.

Selkis pointed out  that the ramifications of the FTX collapse have significantly shaped the current political landscape. The scandal not only embarrassed key Democrats like RMaxine Waters but also provided fuel for cryptocurrency critics such as Elizabeth Warren .

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