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华尔街精英回到老家,推动加密货币的普及

华尔街精英回到老家,推动加密货币的普及

Maria Aspan 2021年08月04日
她推动通过了24项对加密货币友好的法律。

凯特琳•朗第一次在州议会实习时,还是怀俄明州的一名大学生。怀俄明州也是她的家乡。之后,她在瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)和摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)不断攀登华尔街的阶梯,并见证了比特币的诞生。近30年之后的2017年,她决定回到怀俄明州,宣传自己感兴趣的新领域。她看到了一些熟悉的面孔。朗回忆说:“信不信由你。过去27年了,其中一位议员还在那里任职。这太不可思议了!”

在为期20天的议会会议期间,朗“投入自己的时间和金钱”,在怀俄明州的夏延和议员们就比特币、区块链和加密货币行业的前景进行了“耐心的一对一谈话”。她说:“他们喜欢我讲的内容。”在随后的四年里,交流过的议员们帮她起草了很多法律章节。朗目前是“加密货币银行”初创企业Avanti金融集团(Avanti Financial Group)的创始人兼首席执行官,她推动通过了24项对加密货币友好的法律,让怀俄明州成为了加密货币的福地。

在众多通过的法律中,其中一部创立了一项银行牌照,最终促使包括Avanti在内的公司成为特殊目的存款机构(SPDI)。获得SPDI牌照的机构有权在全国范围内经营,业务范围涵盖美元和数字货币。(朗表示,她是在该法律通过几个月后决定创立一家特殊目的存款机构的。)Avanti的下一步发展可能会更具变革性:如果获得美联储的批准,特殊目的存款机构可以自行处理传统货币和加密货币之间的交易,而无需和传统银行合作。这样一来,困扰加密货币领域的高额交易费可能会有所降低,同时消费者在该行业的方便程度会提升。(Avanti将专注于加密货币公司等机构客户和朗在摩根士丹利工作时合作过的养老基金等大型投资者。数字交易所Kraken是第一家获得怀俄明州SPDI牌照的公司,其将关注点更多放在消费者身上。)

凯特琳•朗在怀俄明州杰克逊霍尔的斯普林克里克牧场酒店。图片由凯特琳•朗提供

朗刚开始宣传时,是想改革怀俄明州货币转移法。该法案规定,任何实体要想接收比特币,均须持有等值的美元储备,这致使她无法向她的母校怀俄明大学捐赠比特币。如今,加密货币公司不再受这些限制约束,而且还免征销售税和财产税。怀俄明州最新颁布的加密货币法于7月1日生效,该法案创建了一种特殊类型的有限责任身份,旨在保护企业家、软件开发商以及区块链“分散自治组织”(DAO)中的其他参与者。

DAO并无中央企业管理机构,怀俄明州最新颁布的法律是为了“在分散世界及其发展与传统法律结构之间架起一座法律桥梁。我们获悉,业界面临的其中一个棘手问题是:如果你有分散想法,你如何像创办企业的任何其他企业家一样,逐步使有限责任保护这一想法成形?”Hathaway & Kunz律师事务所的律师兼合伙人马特•考夫曼这样说道。考夫曼曾参与起草该法律,同时也是加密货币投资基金公司BXE Capital的合伙人。

朗和她的盟友说,这些新法律将给怀俄明州带来更多商机。更笼统地说,该州正在尝试制定积极的指导方针,确保即使联邦监管机构对该行业反应迟缓且往往持怀疑态度,加密货币业务也能实现稳步增长。怀俄明州加密货币拥护者、美国资浅参议员辛西娅•卢米斯表示,“各州永远是创新孵化地,这让联邦政府有机会将州政府作为‘培养皿’。”

只要州政府想要成为“培养皿”,那它就是。美联储主席杰罗姆•鲍威尔本月对加密货币的必要性提出了质疑,而参议院银行委员会的委员们在本周召开的一场名为“加密货币有什么好处?”的听证会上提出了更多质疑。但与亚利桑那州民主党参议员克里斯汀•西内马合作成立参议院跨党派金融创新核心小组的共和党人卢米斯,主张让国会(而非联邦监管机构)制定加密货币规则。她表示,“该领域的参与者如此之多,我们定义加密货币的方式,即是将其作为证券、商品、中央银行数字货币还是稳定币,将影响哪一监管机构在联邦政府层面占据主导地位。我认为由国会界定最合适。”

怀俄明州的监管制度也受到了质疑。由于该州的特别执照可能会让加密货币公司在全国站稳脚跟,“怀俄明州目前的做法可能会对未来金融稳定构成威胁,”前纽约美联储官员、现任杜克大学法学院全球金融市场研究中心执行主任李•赖纳斯发出了这样的警告。他担心2008年次贷危机会再次上演,当时,机构投资者在非公开证券上下了很大的赌注,而当这些证券崩盘时,整个金融体系遭受了毁灭性打击。

赖纳斯并非朗的拥护者。他表示,“我认为以凯特琳•朗为首的一小群自私自利的人实际上操纵了立法。这不是一个健全的政府。”朗在一封电子邮件中回复说,她为自己能够推动家乡怀俄明州“建立健全的监管框架感到自豪”,她认为怀俄明州的法规对经营加密货币业务的银行来说是一种约束,因此这是“问题的解决方案,而不是问题。”

无论政府健全与否,它都可能已经达到了极限。Avanti本应在今年年初开始营业。但若想处理美元与比特币之间的交易,只有经美联储批准,它才能直接使用美国支付系统。去年10月,Avanti向堪萨斯城联邦储备银行申请开立“主账户”。大概一年过去了,该申请还未能获准。朗表示,“我们确实有B计划,”但并未具体说明B计划的内容。目前,她宁可与美联储合作,也不愿与之对抗。(财富中文网)

编者按:本文已经更新,加入了凯特琳•朗对怀俄明州加密货币法规评论者作出的详细回应。

本文刊登在《财富》杂志2021年8月/9月刊上,标题为“怀俄明州的区块链先驱”。

翻译:郝秀

审校:汪皓

凯特琳•朗第一次在州议会实习时,还是怀俄明州的一名大学生。怀俄明州也是她的家乡。之后,她在瑞士信贷(Credit Suisse)和摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)不断攀登华尔街的阶梯,并见证了比特币的诞生。近30年之后的2017年,她决定回到怀俄明州,宣传自己感兴趣的新领域。她看到了一些熟悉的面孔。朗回忆说:“信不信由你。过去27年了,其中一位议员还在那里任职。这太不可思议了!”

在为期20天的议会会议期间,朗“投入自己的时间和金钱”,在怀俄明州的夏延和议员们就比特币、区块链和加密货币行业的前景进行了“耐心的一对一谈话”。她说:“他们喜欢我讲的内容。”在随后的四年里,交流过的议员们帮她起草了很多法律章节。朗目前是“加密货币银行”初创企业Avanti金融集团(Avanti Financial Group)的创始人兼首席执行官,她推动通过了24项对加密货币友好的法律,让怀俄明州成为了加密货币的福地。

在众多通过的法律中,其中一部创立了一项银行牌照,最终促使包括Avanti在内的公司成为特殊目的存款机构(SPDI)。获得SPDI牌照的机构有权在全国范围内经营,业务范围涵盖美元和数字货币。(朗表示,她是在该法律通过几个月后决定创立一家特殊目的存款机构的。)Avanti的下一步发展可能会更具变革性:如果获得美联储的批准,特殊目的存款机构可以自行处理传统货币和加密货币之间的交易,而无需和传统银行合作。这样一来,困扰加密货币领域的高额交易费可能会有所降低,同时消费者在该行业的方便程度会提升。(Avanti将专注于加密货币公司等机构客户和朗在摩根士丹利工作时合作过的养老基金等大型投资者。数字交易所Kraken是第一家获得怀俄明州SPDI牌照的公司,其将关注点更多放在消费者身上。)

凯特琳•朗在怀俄明州杰克逊霍尔的斯普林克里克牧场酒店。图片由凯特琳•朗提供

朗刚开始宣传时,是想改革怀俄明州货币转移法。该法案规定,任何实体要想接收比特币,均须持有等值的美元储备,这致使她无法向她的母校怀俄明大学捐赠比特币。如今,加密货币公司不再受这些限制约束,而且还免征销售税和财产税。怀俄明州最新颁布的加密货币法于7月1日生效,该法案创建了一种特殊类型的有限责任身份,旨在保护企业家、软件开发商以及区块链“分散自治组织”(DAO)中的其他参与者。

DAO并无中央企业管理机构,怀俄明州最新颁布的法律是为了“在分散世界及其发展与传统法律结构之间架起一座法律桥梁。我们获悉,业界面临的其中一个棘手问题是:如果你有分散想法,你如何像创办企业的任何其他企业家一样,逐步使有限责任保护这一想法成形?”Hathaway & Kunz律师事务所的律师兼合伙人马特•考夫曼这样说道。考夫曼曾参与起草该法律,同时也是加密货币投资基金公司BXE Capital的合伙人。

朗和她的盟友说,这些新法律将给怀俄明州带来更多商机。更笼统地说,该州正在尝试制定积极的指导方针,确保即使联邦监管机构对该行业反应迟缓且往往持怀疑态度,加密货币业务也能实现稳步增长。怀俄明州加密货币拥护者、美国资浅参议员辛西娅•卢米斯表示,“各州永远是创新孵化地,这让联邦政府有机会将州政府作为‘培养皿’。”

只要州政府想要成为“培养皿”,那它就是。美联储主席杰罗姆•鲍威尔本月对加密货币的必要性提出了质疑,而参议院银行委员会的委员们在本周召开的一场名为“加密货币有什么好处?”的听证会上提出了更多质疑。但与亚利桑那州民主党参议员克里斯汀•西内马合作成立参议院跨党派金融创新核心小组的共和党人卢米斯,主张让国会(而非联邦监管机构)制定加密货币规则。她表示,“该领域的参与者如此之多,我们定义加密货币的方式,即是将其作为证券、商品、中央银行数字货币还是稳定币,将影响哪一监管机构在联邦政府层面占据主导地位。我认为由国会界定最合适。”

怀俄明州的监管制度也受到了质疑。由于该州的特别执照可能会让加密货币公司在全国站稳脚跟,“怀俄明州目前的做法可能会对未来金融稳定构成威胁,”前纽约美联储官员、现任杜克大学法学院全球金融市场研究中心执行主任李•赖纳斯发出了这样的警告。他担心2008年次贷危机会再次上演,当时,机构投资者在非公开证券上下了很大的赌注,而当这些证券崩盘时,整个金融体系遭受了毁灭性打击。

赖纳斯并非朗的拥护者。他表示,“我认为以凯特琳•朗为首的一小群自私自利的人实际上操纵了立法。这不是一个健全的政府。”朗在一封电子邮件中回复说,她为自己能够推动家乡怀俄明州“建立健全的监管框架感到自豪”,她认为怀俄明州的法规对经营加密货币业务的银行来说是一种约束,因此这是“问题的解决方案,而不是问题。”

无论政府健全与否,它都可能已经达到了极限。Avanti本应在今年年初开始营业。但若想处理美元与比特币之间的交易,只有经美联储批准,它才能直接使用美国支付系统。去年10月,Avanti向堪萨斯城联邦储备银行申请开立“主账户”。大概一年过去了,该申请还未能获准。朗表示,“我们确实有B计划,”但并未具体说明B计划的内容。目前,她宁可与美联储合作,也不愿与之对抗。(财富中文网)

编者按:本文已经更新,加入了凯特琳•朗对怀俄明州加密货币法规评论者作出的详细回应。

本文刊登在《财富》杂志2021年8月/9月刊上,标题为“怀俄明州的区块链先驱”。

翻译:郝秀

审校:汪皓

Caitlin Long was a college student in her native Wyoming when she first interned at the state legislature. Almost three decades later, in 2017—after she climbed the Wall Street ladder at Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley and witnessed the birth of Bitcoin—she decided to return to her old stomping grounds to talk up her new interests. She found some familiar faces. “One of the legislators was still there, believe it or not, 27 years later,” Long recalls. “The stars just aligned.”

Over the course of a 20-day legislative session in Cheyenne, Long “camped out on my own time and dime” for “patient, one-on-one conversations” with lawmakers about Bitcoin, blockchains, and the promise of the cryptocurrency industry. “They liked the story,” she says. And over the ensuing four years, they’ve helped her write multiple chapters. Long, now the founder and CEO of “crypto bank” startup Avanti Financial Group, has helped pass 24 crypto-friendly laws, giving Wyoming a reputation as cryptocurrency’s promised land—or its Wild West, depending on whom you ask.

One of those laws created a bank charter that enabled companies—including, eventually, Avanti—to become “special-purpose depository institutions,” or SPDIs, entitling them to operate throughout the nation, handling both dollars and digital currencies. (Long says she only decided to start a SPDI months after the law was passed.) Avanti’s next step could be even more transformational: If they win the Federal Reserve’s blessing, SPDIs will be able to process transactions between traditional and crypto currencies on their own, without having to partner with traditional banks. That could reduce the high transaction fees that have dogged the crypto world, while increasing consumers’ comfort level with the industry. (Avanti will focus on institutional clients like crypto companies and large investors, like the pension funds with whom Long once worked at Morgan Stanley. Digital exchange Kraken, the first company to receive a Wyoming SPDI charter, focuses more on consumers.)

When she first started her advocacy, Long was trying to change a state money-transmitter law that had stymied her efforts to donate Bitcoins to her alma mater, the University of Wyoming; at the time, any entity accepting Bitcoin had to hold an equal value in dollars in reserve. Today crypto companies are exempt from those restrictions. They’re also exempt from sales tax and property tax. Wyoming’s most recent crypto law, effective July 1, creates a special type of limited liability status that protects entrepreneurs, software developers, and others participating in blockchain-based “decentralized autonomous organizations,” or DAOs.

DAOs don’t have a central corporate authority, and Wyoming’s latest law is intended to “create a legal bridge from the decentralized world, and the development occurring there, to a traditional legal structure,” says Matt Kaufman, an attorney and partner at the Hathaway & Kunz law firm, who co-wrote the law. (He’s also a partner at BXE Capital, a crypto-focused investment fund.) “One of the big problems we were hearing from the industry is: If you have a decentralized idea, how can you develop that idea with some limited liability protection, like any other entrepreneur working in a startup?”

All these new laws, Long and her allies say, will bring more business to Wyoming. More broadly, the state is trying to draw proactive guidelines under which crypto businesses can grow—at the same time that federal regulators have taken a slow and often suspicious approach to the industry. “States have always been the incubators of innovation,” says Cynthia Lummis, Wyoming’s pro-crypto junior U.S. senator. “This gives the federal government a chance to use state governments as a petri dish.”

If it wants to, that is. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell this month questioned the need for cryptocurrencies, while members of the Senate Banking Committee this week aired more skepticism at a hearing entitled “Cryptocurrencies: What are they good for?” But Lummis, a Republican who partnered with Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema to create the Senate’s bipartisan Financial Innovation Caucus, advocates putting crypto rules into the hands of Congress first, rather than federal regulators. “There are so many players in this space, that the way we define things—as a security, a commodity, a central-bank digital currency versus a stablecoin—will have an effect on what regulatory agency has primacy at the federal level,” she says. “And I think that Congress is the appropriate definer.”

Wyoming’s regulatory regime also has its critics. Because the state’s special charters could help crypto companies gain a national foothold, “what Wyoming is doing could potentially threaten financial stability down the road,” warns Lee Reiners, a former New York Fed official who’s now executive director of the Global Financial Markets Center at Duke Law. He fears a repeat of the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008, when institutional investors bet big on esoteric securities, sending destructive ripples through the whole financial system when those securities crashed.

Nor is Reiners a fan of Long’s influence. “I think a narrow group of self-interested individuals, primarily led by Caitlin Long, essentially hijacked the legislative process,” he says. “It’s just not good government.” In an emailed response, Long says she is “proud of the interest I have in advancing the robust regulatory framework” of her home state, and that she sees Wyoming regulations as a “straight-jacket” for banks that handle crypto, therefore “a solution to the problem, not the problem.”

Good government or not, it may have reached its limits. Avanti was supposed to open for business early this year. But in order to process transactions between dollars and Bitcoin, it needs Fed approval to directly access the U.S. payments system. Avanti applied to the Kansas City Fed for a “master account” last October. Almost a year later, it’s still waiting. “We do have a plan B,” Long says, declining to specify what that is. For now, she’d prefer to work with the Fed, not fight it.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include a longer version of Caitlin Long's response to critics of Wyoming's crypto regulations.

This article appears in the August/September 2021 issue of Fortune with the headline, "Wyoming's blockchain pioneer."

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