Would the STABLE Act Make Running an Ethereum Node Illegal?

Would the STABLE Act Make Running an Ethereum Node Illegal?


Last week, Congresswoman and “” member Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) sent Crypto Twitter into a tizzy with the following proposal:

The bill’s academic/think tank proponents followed up with posts such as this:

There’s a lot to unpack here and a lot of crossed wires, mostly due to (I suspect) the fact that the proponents of the bill are and not engineers. While they may have fairly elaborate theories about what function cryptocurrency serves (and in particular how it has the potential to undermine their macro strategy of ), they may have a somewhat looser grip on how cryptocurrency actually works.

I preface this essay by saying that stablecoin issuers should be licensed. What sort of license is anybody’s guess. Currently I should think a money transmitter license would be the thing but there’s no reason in principle why an issuer shouldn’t go get a bank license as well. 

The STABLE Act does way more than that, and appears to require any blockchain that runs stablecoin code to be licensed, among other things. For example:

It’s a swing and a miss:

Lawyers have these little critters called “canons of statutory construction” we use to interpret laws. For example, in England they have something called “the golden rule,” which basically means that when trying to understand what a law calls for, you give the statute its plain and ordinary meaning unless doing so would render the statute absurd. In the alternative there is an approach called the “purposive approach,” which is generally used to interpret indirectly effective European Union law, where interpretation of the rule is driven by the purpose for which the statute is drafted.

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