• The senator’s purchase was from bitcoin brokerage River Financial
  • Lummis was a supporter of an amendment in Congress’s infrastructure bill in August that would exempt hardware wallet makers, cryptocurrency transaction validators, node operators and other non-brokers from tax regulations

One of crypto’s largest supporters in the US Senate has disclosed bitcoin ownership of up to $100,000, according to a filing published Thursday. 

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) spent between $50,001 and $100,000 to buy bitcoin on August 16 from exchange platform River Financial, the document appears to indicate.

Lummis has long advocated for cryptocurrency while many of her fellow senators have spoken out in opposition. 

She, along with Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) teamed up with Democratic senators such as Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) to agree on an amendment in Congress’s infrastructure bill in August that would exempt hardware wallet makers, cryptocurrency transaction validators, node operators and other non-brokers from tax regulations.

Despite the efforts, the Senate failed to pass the amendment’s inclusion in the legislation.

During a podcast that month hosted by Blockworks co-founder Jason Yanowitz, Lummis noted that many senators and regulators are “not up to speed” on crypto, which can hinder financial innovation. 

“When I walk around here with books on digital assets and cryptocurrency, colleagues look at me like I’m different, and it’s because they haven’t taken the time to explore this,” she said. “It’s viewed in Washington as a very minor issue within the financial regulatory space, and furthermore they don’t see how fast it’s happening.”

During a June hearing of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Lummis touted digital asset analytics providers, which she said helped law enforcement agencies recover 85% of the digital assets paid in a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline.  She also referenced a report by Chainalysis, which found that the criminal share of all cryptocurrency activity was 0.34% in 2020, down from 2.1% the year before.

The comments came at the same hearing during which Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said crypto could pose a danger to consumers.   

“Instead of leaving our financial system at the whims of giant banks, crypto puts the system at the whims of some shadowy, faceless group of super coders and miners,” Warren said at the time, “which doesn’t sound better to me.”

  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro economics, financial services and digital asset management. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence, and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism.