On Wednesday, Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) found a surprising way to develop her next crypto regulation bill: She put it on GitHub.
“As promised, you can now contribute comments on my bill that establishes a framework for digital assets with [Sen. Gillibrand]Lummis wrote. in a tweet sharing the news. “Civilian comments and criticism are welcome. Please share widely. We want to do this right. Help us publicly iterate on the policy.”
Better known as an open source repository, GitHub includes a number of tools that could be useful for developing public proposals, notably the ability to publicly comment, review, and fork text across different versions.
At the time of publication, Github users have commented on 24 issues in the bill and have made eight pull requests, some of which have proposed significant additions to the bill. One user called on senators to “increase the value of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies with a mining tax.” Another thread raised concerns about the algorithmic backing of stablecoins.
However, the most common response has been trolling. One flagged issue is titled “You know you can find someone to do Findom using Google, right.” Another is titled with just the eggplant emoji.
In a related thread, a user commented, “The feds aren’t looking for post floppa,” accompanied by an image of a popular Russian caracal that has gained an internet following under the name “Big Floppa.”
The trolling also extends to compromise requests, where one user proposed to replace the invoice with the source code of the popular first-person shooter Doom. “This bill would do so much more to benefit ordinary Americans if its text were replaced with the Doom source code,” reads a comment responding to the request. “The developers should merge as soon as possible.”
Introduced earlier this month by Lummis and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), the Responsible Financial Innovation Act would create a framework for regulators to determine whether a given digital asset should be considered a commodity or a security by implementing new provisions on stable coins. Notably, the bill would put much of the regulatory authority over cryptocurrencies in the hands of the Commodity Futures Trading Authority (CFTC), significantly expanding the agency’s budget and authority.
The bill is still in its early stages and would need to be approved by several Senate committees before it can be voted on as a whole and become law. Nonetheless, it is one of the most comprehensive attempts by Congress yet to bring regulatory clarity to the controversial and often confusing world of cryptocurrencies.
“Digital assets, blockchain technology, and cryptocurrencies have seen tremendous growth in recent years and offer substantial potential benefits if harnessed correctly,” Gillibrand said in a June 7 statement. “It is critical that the United States play a leadership role in developing policies to regulate new financial products, while also fostering innovation and protecting consumers.”