Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), a cryptocurrency industry veteran, has lost her election campaign, according to the Associated Press and other poll-watching organizations covering the election.
Loeffler resigned as CEO of Bakkt, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange and custody firm owned by NYSE-parent company Intercontinental Exchange, or ICE, shortly ahead of her appointment to Georgia’s empty U.S. Senate seat on Dec. 4, 2019.
She has not yet conceded the race, and is unlikely to do so for some time, having promised to vote to block the electoral college from formally certifying Joe Biden as President-elect. Nor is she likely to return to Bakkt.
When Loeffler was first appointed to the Senate, there were high hopes that having a voice in the Senate who had been a crypto industry leader would be good for the industry.
“This is really good news for crypto regulation in the United States,” Mati Greenspan, founder of Quantum Economics, told Modern Consensus on the day she was sworn in. “She’s certainly a friend of crypto and is one of the most influential people in the space.”
A year later, Greenspan is pretty clear that he won’t miss her.
Asked on Jan. 6 if he thought Loeffler “helped the crypto/blockchain industry” during her year in office, Greenspan replied, “She helped herself.” He added:
“The allegations of promoting interests of ICE and the NYSE during her short time in office are well reported on.”
Nor would it have made sense for her to have been a crypto industry advocate, he said, given her voter base and already faltering re-election chances after major insider trading allegations made national news in March.
Sen. Loeffler, who is married to Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)—the owner of Bakkt and the New York Stock Exchange—had already made headlines over a conflict of interest that January, when she was assigned a seat on the Senate committee which oversees the Commodity Futures Trading Commission—a main ICE regulator.
Despite the loss of Sen. Loeffler, crypto has a new Senate champion, Greenspan said, pointing to Wyoming’s Republican Senator-elect Cynthis Lummis, a Bitcoin hodler since 2013 and mother-in-law of Unchained Capital Chief Product Officer Will Cole.
Lummis even advocated for Bitcoin on the campaign trail, telling ABC News on Nov. 14 that she hoped to “bring bitcoin into the national conversation,” calling it a “good store of value.”
Greenspan has higher hopes for Lummis, saying that “in contrast with Loeffler, her bitcoin and blockchain advocacy originated from her constituents and was a big part of her campaign. So, we can definitely expect great things from her.”