Democratic challenger to crypto-friendly senator’s seat is interested in space

38-year-old Senate candidate Morgan Harper said she would be “in learning mode” on the crypto space and solicited comments from her followers.

Morgan Harper, a former senior advisor at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is coming out as ‘crypto curious’ in her race to be the Democratic nominee for one of Ohio’s United States Senate seats.

In a Tuesday thread on Twitter, Harper said she was interested in the possibilities Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies could mean for policy in Ohio. According to the Democratic candidate, Bitcoin can take the place of many functions of traditional banks by passing on “the wealth of the network” to all users rather than a handful of large shareholders.

“There are crypto projects out there that want to compete with basically every facet of what a bank or social media company does,” said Harper. “Their basic model is more inclusive than a corporation. I’ve heard anecdotes & seen some stats about how many young people & people of color use #bitcoin, which makes sense — historically, we’ve been locked out of traditional forms of investment.”

The 38-year-old Harper added she would be “in learning mode” on the crypto space and encouraged any of her roughly 24,000 followers to submit comments on how lawmakers might “keep bad actors out while encouraging innovation.”

Officially announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate on Aug. 18, Harper is running for the Democratic nomination against House Representative Tim Ryan, treasurer of the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District Demar Sheffey and others. If chosen to be the Democratic candidate and elected, she would serve with fellow Democrat Sherrod Brown, up for re-election in 2024.

Harper could potentially replace Senator Rob Portman, who announced in January he would not be seeking re-election due to it being “harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy.” During his time in office, Portman has been outspoken in certain pieces of legislation proposing regulations on cryptocurrencies. In April, he suggested a bill to better define reporting crypto for U.S. taxpayers.

Related: House passes $1T infrastructure bill with crypto tax for Biden’s approval

In the recent debate on infrastructure, Senator Portman initially backed an amendment put forth by his colleagues that suggested striking the definition of brokers in the bill to no longer include developers, transaction validators and node operators. The infrastructure bill passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate without additional clarification on crypto brokers and is currently awaiting approval from President Joe Biden.

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