What's Libor got to do with it?

I try to hold out hope that some reasonable crypto market regulations can be devised in the U.S. to minimize fraud and harm to small investors while at the same time leaving room for robust innovation. I try. I really do.

Then stuff like Wednesday's House Financial Services Committee hearing happens. During the proceeding:

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified that he has "serious concerns" about Facebook's Libra project, which aims to launch a new global cryptocurrency. Privacy, money laundering, and financial stability were among the big issues Powell cited as concerns during his regularly scheduled testimony to the House committee.
  • While asking a question of Powell, Georgia congressman David Scott rather hilariously confused "Libra" with "Libor," which stands for London Interbank Offer Rate, a crucial benchmark for global debt markets.

Look, I actually don't have an ideological jones for central banks, as some blockchain folks do. I don't mind when officials like Powell ask tough questions about new tokens with an eye toward arriving at sensible new regulations. But the key word is sensible.

Is it too much to ask that the people who might write such laws have a working understanding of the basics of cryptocurrencies and, for that matter, traditional finance as well?

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