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DEF’s January Recap

Here’s what the DeFi Education Fund (DEF) has been up to in January. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about a specific activity, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Happy New Year! (If it is still kosher to say that.)


January ushered in a sense of optimism here at the DeFi Education Fund. While the 118th Congress settled in, we remained busy introducing ourselves to the new members and setting the organization up for an impactful year. Take a look at some of the specific items we worked on this past month.


Welcoming the 118th Congress


To begin 2023, we welcomed newly elected members of Congress with a little introduction to DeFi. In that vein, we sent a letter, and shared FAQs, encouraging a thoughtful policy approach to empower the DeFi ecosystem.


As we noted:


This Congress has a lot of work to do to ensure that the United States remains a global economic power, as well as a hub for innovation.


Given the events of the last several months, now more than ever, getting cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance (DeFi) under the regulatory umbrella through the passage of sound and well-informed legislation will be essential to achieving this goal.


Click here to read the full letter.


Releasing DeFi “Guiding Principles”


To cultivate a better understanding of DeFi and provide the ecosystem with a foundation for safety and success, we started a months-long collaboration of DeFi participants in 2021 to produce a set of “guiding principles.”


These principles seek to maintain and support the integrity of permissionless DeFi protocols, while providing insight to policymakers as to the workings of well-designed projects and protocols as they seek to further understand DeFi.


While initially posted on Github in January of 2022, we have continued to work to refine these principles to get to a place where we can introduce them to the public and ignite further engagement and collaboration among the DeFi community and push the needle forward.


Finally, on January 23, 2023 we went public with not only these “Principles,” but also a new Discord channel where we hope the community will continue to engage with us on these issues.

Click here to read the “Principles.”


Fight for the Future & Privacy


On January 10, we co-signed Fight for the Future’s open letter to Congress, alongside Ledger, the Blockchain Association, the Filecoin Foundation and others, encouraging privacy protection.


The letter identified four actions that Congress could take to reaffirm the right to privacy and the right to code:


  • Ensuring constitutional and human rights are protected online and offline;

  • Working to identify and correct power imbalances;

  • Championing privacy protecting capabilities such as end-to-end encryption; and

  • Safeguarding data privacy and security.


Click here to read the full letter.


Media

Podcasts

  • Unchained: Did FTX Ruin Crypto’s Image on Capitol Hill? Two DC Insiders Discuss

    • Sheila Warren, CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation, and Miller Whitehouse-Levine, Policy Director of the DeFi Education Fund, offer insider takes on how lawmakers and regulators are viewing crypto after FTX’s catastrophic failure. Both expect heightened activity in the U.S. from what they’re calling the “Crypto Congress.” Will this be the year for stablecoin regulation? Is DeFi still in the crosshairs? What about Ripple’s fight with the SEC? The two crypto policy experts look to the U.S. and beyond for what regulatory battles lie ahead in 2023.


Print/Online

  • Decrypt: Crypto Crystal Ball: Biggest Trends to Watch in 2023

    • “I am less bullish on regulatory clarity,” Miller Whitehouse-Levine, policy director of crypto lobbying group DeFi Education Fund, told Decrypt about 2023’s prospects.

  • Cointelegraph: Blockchain privacy groups urge new US Congress to protect privacy rights

    • At the time of writing, the letter had 36 signatories, including industry players such as the Blockchain Association, DeFi Education Fund, Ledger, Nillion Network, Protocol Labs and Proton.

  • Capitol Account: Crypto Turf Fight: a Progressive Attack on CFTC’s Behnam Gets Personal – and Ugly

    • As the head of the DeFi Education Fund, Miller Whitehouse-Levine often notes that he spends much of his time explaining to confused lawmakers what his industry does. Toward that end, the group isn’t wasting any time getting its education efforts going with the new Congress. Today, it sent a letter to every senator and House member that included a “DeFi FAQ,” and encourages them to pass legislation that recognizes the benefits of decentralized finance. You can read the note here.


Blog Posts

  • DAO Legislation at the State-Level: A Brief Overview

    • Unlike the Federal Government, states are experimenting with more direct solutions. These early and encouraging efforts in legislative innovation evidence momentum in answering questions about whether and how DAOs fit into existing legal structures. A brief overview of what states are doing can be found in this blog post.


For up-to-date information about what’s happening in D.C. and what we are up to, please follow us on Twitter @fund_defi and subscribe to our Substack.



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