New US Senator wants to bring Bitcoin „into the nationwide debate
After the U.S. elections Bitcoin could have a new advocate in a high position.
In an interview with news channel ABC News, newly elected U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis reaffirmed her support for Bitcoin (BTC), explicitly mentioning that she „hopes to bring Bitcoin into the nationwide debate.
In an excerpt from the program „Good Morning America“ (GMA), the soon-to-be senator from Wyoming made the relevant remarks, referring to her experience as former state Treasury Secretary. Lummis is thereby probably the highest ranking politician, who appears as an advocate for the market-leading crypto currency.
„I am the former finance minister of our state and have invested its permanent sovereign wealth fund. I looked for a good store of value and made a find with Bitcoin. Our own national currency is affected by inflation, but Bitcoin is not. In total, only 21 million Bitcoin will be removed and that’s it. There is only a limited amount in circulation. So I am confident that in the future they will become a major player among the store of value we will be, and for a long time to come“.
At the same time, the Senator weighed the hints of moderator Sara Haines that Bitcoin would be used for tax evasion and money laundering. She did not go into this further.
As Cointelegraph had previously reported, Lummis is an „early adopter“ of Bitcoin. The politician had already begun to invest in the crypto currency in 2013 after her son-in-law Will Cole, who himself works for the crypto company Unchained Capital, had convinced her to do so.
While the media primarily emphasize that Lummis is the first female senator from Wyoming, the crypto-community hopes that she is also the first member of parliament to support Bitcoin.
USA: Pay passports with Bitcoin and receive them within 4 weeks
A California-based Visa and Passport processing company announced that it will accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. Meanwhile, operations at the U.S. State Department are gradually returning to normal.
According to an announcement by passport and visa issuer Peninsula Visa in San Jose on November 6, the company stated that its customers can pay for selected services related to their passports with Bitcoin (BTC). Peninsula Visa is supported by retail payment company Coinbase Commerce. In addition to second passport applications, the company will also offer passport renewals and name changes. U.S. citizens over the age of 16 may hold a „primary“ passport book or card with a validity of 10 years and a second one with a validity of 4 years.
„This feels like the right time to offer travelers the ability to pay with Bitcoin,“ said Evan James, COO of Peninsula Visa. He hopes that travel would return to normal after the pandemic.
In March, government agencies and businesses were closed for the first time to curb the spread of COVID-19. Many of the 26 U.S. State Department passport offices across the continent and in Puerto Rico were also affected. This led to delays in the processing of passports for first-time applicants as well as for those who wanted to renew or change their documents, for example because of marriage. According to a report in the LA Times, there was a backlog of almost one million passports on September 23.
However, many of the offices of the Foreign Ministry have already reopened for passport applicants. The government agency announced on November 3 that it had reduced the processing time to 10-12 weeks for standard applications and 4-6 weeks for the accelerated procedure. Prior to the COVID crisis, under certain circumstances it was possible to obtain a passport within one week.
Private companies have already offered Bitcoin owners the option of paying for international flights with crypto. However, governments were not willing to accept it as a means of payment for certain services. In June, a Venezuelan government agency briefly accepted Bitcoin as payment for passport applications from Venezuelan citizens living abroad. This was revoked the next day.