Sen. Elizabeth Warren building ‘anti-crypto army’ as part of re-election bid

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has suggested that she is building an "anti-crypto army" as part of her re-election bid.

The term "anti-crypto army" was first used by the Virginia-based political newspaper Politico last February to report the Massachusetts senator's effort to write laws that would inhibit the progress of crypto in the U.S. She also tried to lobby some Republicans into supporting her crypto bill at that time.

Warren, who recently announced another bid for a senatorial position, quoted Politico's headline on Twitter on Thursday about her building an "army" against crypto. She wrote that she was working to push the "government on the side of working families."

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The senator has long voiced her criticisms of crypto. She wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal after the implosion of the crypto exchange FTX, saying that digital currency would "ruin" the economy. The exchange collapsed after experiencing a bank run in November, with the following investigation suggesting poor management practices by the exchange's executives.

Warren introduced an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) bill last December. The bill will enforce the AML regulations implemented in traditional finance to decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). It will also require miners, blockchain validators and unhosted wallets to comply with AML policies.

The bill did not pass through and faced criticism for being "unconstitutional." However, Warren said she would reintroduce the bill in her next term during a senate hearing on February 14, adding that she would find more sponsors to support her bill.

Reactions to Warren's anti-crypto stance

Crypto advocates criticized Warren's tweet. Famous YouTuber Guy "Coin Bureau" Turner said the senator would not win majority votes with her anti-crypto strategy. Meanwhile, anonymous crypto supporter Lord TJ said Warren's stance against crypto would "push innovation offshore."

Recent polls regarding crypto suggested that Warren's focus on crypto for her campaign would be difficult to execute. A survey by crypto exchange Coinbase last February showed that 76 percent of the representative sample thought that "cryptocurrency and blockchain are the future."

In November 2022, digital asset management firm Grayscale Investments commissioned a survey about crypto sentiment. The result showed that 59 percent of Democrats, whom Warren represents, considered crypto as the future, with 51 percent of Republicans sharing the opinion.

Some analysts, however, pointed out that various crypto crises in 2022 — including FTX and stablecoin Terra-Luna — had weighed "heavily" on the public's crypto sentiment. A recent survey by business intelligence firm Morning Consult revealed that confidence in crypto had declined last year.

Prediction: Bitcoin to rally in May

Bitcoin is likely to begin its rally in May due to the pause in rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, said analysts. Despite the significant plunge in Bitcoin and other tokens last year, crypto prices have improved since the New Year. The recent rally suggested a slight improvement in the market's confidence in the nascent sector.

Bankruptcy cases in the crypto industry last year caused not only low confidence in the market among investors but also increased regulatory scrutiny. The Fed's interest rate hikes also propped the U.S. dollar, increasing price pressures for tokens that were typically traded against the currency.

The market expects the U.S. central bank to maintain the interest rate at the range of 4.75 to 5.00 percent in the next policy meeting on May 3. In addition to more favorable inflation data, analysts said the Fed was loosening its policy after the recent banking turmoil. Two regional lenders, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, imploded after experiencing a bank run. High-interest rates contributed to the banks' downfall, according to analysts.

During the banking crisis, analysts noted that Bitcoin and several other tokens rallied. Crypto proponents said the rally showed that people considered crypto an alternative to the traditional banking system.