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Shaping Bitcoin Policy with Lee Bratcher

Dec 11, 2023

Shaping Bitcoin Policy with Lee Bratcher

Shaping Bitcoin Policy with Lee Bratcher


In the rapidly evolving world of digital assets and cryptocurrencies, the conversation around regulation, institutional adoption, and the future of finance is intensifying. In a recent episode of "The Last Trade," the dialogue took a deep dive into these issues with special guest Lee Bratcher from the Texas Blockchain Council. The discussion covered a range of topics, from the intricacies of Bitcoin asset management to the regulatory landscape and the role of states like Texas in shaping the future of the industry.


The conversation focused on the regulatory pressures on cryptocurrencies, with recent suggestions by the Treasury Department to the Senate House and the House Banking Committees to regulate validators and mining pools under the Bank Secrecy Act. This was juxtaposed with bullish sentiments around an imminent ETF approval for Bitcoin.

Lee Bratcher shared insights into the Texas Blockchain Council's work, emphasizing the importance of digital property rights and the council's efforts to create model policies for blockchain technology adoption. He highlighted Texas' significant role in the U.S. Bitcoin mining industry and discussed the state's initiatives to integrate Bitcoin mining into the energy grid effectively.

The episode also touched on the potential systemic fragility caused by federal subsidies on wind and solar power, the importance of regional banks as allies in the fight against central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), and the varied stances of politicians on Bitcoin and digital assets.

Key Takeaways

  • Regulatory concerns are growing, with recent government suggestions targeting validators and mining pools for increased reporting.
  • The Texas Blockchain Council is at the forefront of advocating for blockchain policy and legislation, recognizing the intersection of technology and monetary revolution.
  • Texas plays a pivotal role in U.S. Bitcoin mining, and the state is working to harmonize mining operations with the energy grid's demand response programs.
  • There is a nuanced impact of Bitcoin mining on energy prices, with potential benefits for grid reliability and environmental concerns.
  • The emergence of CBDCs presents privacy and liberty issues, with Bitcoin positioned as a counterbalance.
  • Political support for Bitcoin varies, with some politicians recognizing its job creation potential and others aligning with its philosophical underpinnings.

Best Quotes

  • "The Texas Blockchain Council was started... because I foresaw a big need, and there's a lot of people out there that are builders... But my skill set had to do with policy and politics."
  • "The potential for Bitcoin mining to be a load that helps to shave off the peaks and bring up the valleys of the duck curve of our energy consumption patterns is really strong."
  • "We're in a bad spot. And it is a function of federal subsidies. Absolutely well-intentioned, to be sure, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
  • "The easiest issue that I think we're going to find is the Bitcoin being the antithesis to a central bank digital currency."
  • "All politics is local, as the old adage goes. So I think that's absolutely right. There are other trade associations in other states... And we are working to build grassroots networks of people that will go out and block walk and call their representatives."

The episode concluded with a reminder of the importance of grassroots advocacy and the power of local politics in influencing the future of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.


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