The Policy Environment for Digital Assets with Sheila Warren* of the Crypto Council for Innovation

Sheila Warren* – voted one of the most influential women in DC – is the CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI)*. CCI, which recently added Circle as a member, is a leading global alliance of industry leaders that seeks a more accessible, robust, and well-informed crypto ecosystem through research, education, and advocacy.

Sheila and Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire met in Davos at the 2024 World Economic Forum meeting to discuss the changing policy environment for digital assets.

In their Money Movement conversation, Jeremy and Sheila covered:

  • [1:18] – What’s happening in Washington
  • [16:17] – Normalizing digital assets
  • [23:04] – The collision of AI and crypto
  • [26:01] – Bitcoin ETFs

If you’re interested in learning more about trends in crypto innovation and regulation, tune in to this episode of The Money Movement. 

*Sheila Warren is the CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI); Circle is a CCI member.

Jeremy - 00:00:00: Money is changing. It's evolving. It's innovating. It's getting faster, safer, more open.
Sheila - 00:00:15: Crypto and blockchain technologies, they're about empowering people and creating agency.
Jeremy - 00:00:31: Hello, I'm Jeremy Allaire, and this is The Money Movement. I'm super thrilled to be here in Davos, Switzerland, for the 2024 World Economic Forum. And I'm very privileged to be here with an amazing guest, Sheila Warren, who's the CEO of the Crypto Council for Innovation. Sheila, it's so wonderful to be here with you, to have you on The Money Movement again. And we have such an interesting history that dates back five or six years to the forum, where you were playing a significant leadership role in exploring this whole area way in advance of its rapid maturation. And now you're playing a leadership role in shaping policy on this, which is a very hot topic around the world. So thank you for joining us.
Sheila - 00:01:19: Thanks for having me back. I'm thrilled to be here.
Jeremy - 00:01:21: Yeah, absolutely. So obviously there's a lot we can talk about.
Sheila - 00:01:26: No shortage of content.
Jeremy - 00:01:27: No shortage of content. But maybe... Obviously, there's a global stage here, and we can talk about global policy, but maybe zooming in, everyone always wants to know, like, what is happening in Washington? You know, what is happening in Washington? You know, we have the courts, and we have administrative things. We had an ETF approval. That seems like a positive thing from the SEC. And then we have Congress. And, you know, maybe just start with your, you know, 30,000-foot view, and we can drill into some of the details as well because we're both obviously very close to it.
Sheila - 00:02:09: Yeah, of course. Well, as Americans, right, as one does. Yeah, whenever people ask me what's happening in Washington, my immediate second follow-up question is, look, on what axis?
Jeremy – 00:02:17: Yeah, yeah.
Sheila – 00:02:17: Because it is an unprecedented time in Washington. And I think that anything about our industry has to be contextualized, looking at the fact that this Congress is having trouble passing a budget. Passing basic spending. It took 15 votes to elect a speaker the first time and then multiple rounds of different people to get a speaker. That normally is something that is a slam-dunk, box-check kind of exercise. So we are in a time of tremendous not just polarization, but that's leading to the inability of Congress to actually function as a body. Now, all that being said, it's equally important to note that this concept that the US is doing nothing is equally wrong.
Jeremy – 00:02:53: Right.
Sheila – 00:02:53: As you noted, the courts are very active. So are the states. The United States are 50 unique different states. In the absence of federal legislation, the states are not holding back. So we've seen action in New Jersey, Louisiana, Illinois, California, like New Hampshire, a lot of states, Wyoming, are getting into the game and they're not going to wait. So what's going to be interesting is to see how different political philosophies, and now there are myriad, there is a spectrum of philosophies in the United States represented in Congress, how they're going to match their desire for do we want the federal government to actually set the terms of the table, set the table, or do we want the states to do that? Well, usually the Democrats would want the federal kind of notion, right? And yet they're the ones to some extent hampering progress in Congress. But also you've got a wing of the Republican Party that would normally be okay with states, but actually wants to have more say in what happens with some of the sort of digital asset regulations and legislation. So it's a very bizarre time.
Jeremy - 00:03:52: It really is. It is. I mean, I think the Republicans are advancing legislation for federal regulation, you know, and having a hard time bringing along Democrats, right?
Sheila – 00:04:00: Right.
Jeremy – 00:04:00: Which, you know, there's a lot going on in that. You know, I think it's interesting and being here at the forum, as you know. You know, the US Government many years ago through the Treasury Department, like, took a really active role at the G7, at the G20, saying we have to have regulations of the space stablecoins. There was Libra. You know, we all remember all of that.
Sheila - 00:04:28: Oh, yes. 
Jeremy - 00:04:31: And, yeah, I think maybe the first time, well, we met before that, but on the sidelines meeting you and Dante and all that. But in any case, the US pushing hard, like, we have to have regulation here. The US had had some regulation since 2013, which was, you know, way ahead of other countries. And was pushing for it. And yet, you know, you've got, you know, the presidential working group, the top financial regulators in the United States saying it's urgent that Congress do something. But then, here we are, and Japan and the UK and the EU and Singapore and Hong Kong and the UAE are all moving faster than the United States in some respects.
Sheila - 00:05:16: Yeah, it's certainly unusual, to say the least, right? And what's going to be interesting to see is, do the courts in the states lap the legislature? Because that could happen, right? I mean, we even had Chair Gensler in a very interesting statement, and I would say, again, somewhat unprecedented kind of statement around the approval of the spot ETF, the Bitcoin spot ETF, saying, paraphrasing poorly, well, I don't like it, but I kind of, you made me do it, right? And he was talking essentially about the courts. And so the idea is, the judicial process is often very slow, deliberately kind of slow, and yet we're seeing movement in those spaces that's going to be somewhat dispositive, even if Congress doesn't act, or that may force Congress to kind of do something. But whether Congress can actually do a thing, and by this I mean not just in digital assets, I mean in anything, remains to be seen. It's an open question.
Jeremy - 00:06:08: Yeah. Well, on the big issues, right, you kind of have, you have payment stablecoin. And you have how to regulate the markets themselves, and then you have essentially financial integrity and AML and terrorist financing, like the kind of AML issues. And all three of those have And there's other things too, right? There's IRS, tax treatment.
Sheila - 00:06:33: No shortage of content, right.
Jeremy - 00:06:34: But on those three, what's your sense of ultimately like, trades being made because there's a real push on the financial integrity, security front. But there's also a push on some of these others. You're very close to the ground truth on all of this.
Sheila - 00:06:57: Yes, I am.
Jeremy - 00:06:58: We all hope that we are. But, you know, what's your sense for, you know, kind of trades being made? And by virtue of all these happening, maybe as a separate question, do you feel like Congress is better educated now?
Sheila - 00:07:17: Wow, there's a lot in there to unpack. So let me start with the last point. Do I feel Congress is better educated now? For 24, yes. For 25, I have no idea. So, and the thing I think a lot of people in industry miss is that some of our, I don't ever want to call anybody an ally or champion because that always seems a bit disingenuous because they're going to do the job they're there to do. But there are some very educated folks who are very committed to the passage of legislation. Patrick Henry is the number one example, not running for reelection, which means in 25, he's not there anymore, friends. So we have a window where a very well-respected, well-regarded leader on both sides of the aisle, someone who is a consummate politician, knows how to get things done, is still chairing a critical committee in 24. That's not the case. So my view is there's a window in the United States where it isn't so much that the broad swath of Congress is educated, as you put it, it's that the right people in the right places that have their own internal gravity and gravitas and influence are actually educated and committed. And it's an open field. I mean, it's anybody we can kind of game this out. We have some guesses about who might be the next, you know, this and that. But you never really know until it's done. So I always tend to be the kind of person who thinks bird in hand, you know, and my view on this is you've got somebody who is quite committed, who is seems to be thinking of this as a legacy moment and Patrick and Chairman McHenry. Why would we not try to be as supportive of that as possible? And in Leader Schumer on the Senate side. You actually have somebody who is there to govern. He is very much an individual has been a senator of New York. Senior senators been there for a long time in the Senate and is committed to leadership and is an effective leader of his party on that side, right? So if we lose that, I don't necessarily know who the Republican leadership will be. And again, there's some guesses, but you just don't really know till you know. So my take is we are always trying to bring along more people. I do feel like there is still curiosity about this, especially when we connect it to AI, which is the the fade to shore, you know, the popular child of the moment, which the connections very obvious in my mind.
Jeremy – 00:09:20: Yes.
Sheila – 00:09:21: But I think that we have to look at 24 as a time to really try to move things over the line and not just wave our hands in the air and say, you know, wait till after the election. See how it shakes out.
Jeremy - 00:09:32: I agree. I mean, I think like, it's kind of embarrassing that the United States is not able to do something here when it purports to try and drive things forward here. And, you know, we've been actively, obviously, talking about stablecoin legislation, you know, given USDC. But, the fact that all of these other governments in the world are setting the laws for how dollars work on the Internet is kind of insane.
Sheila - 00:10:06: And that's what's happening. I mean, I think that's exactly what's happening.
Jeremy - 00:10:09: And, you know, we're facing the ground truth of that negotiating with governments around the world. But it would be really helpful. The agencies and the apparatus that's responsible for the way the dollar works in the world could get them.
Sheila - 00:10:25: And, you know, I want to say that in a different way because I think it is – people kind of see it and they're like, oh, yeah, yeah. But really think about this, right? So you had Switzerland and Japan first to the table. Now, Japan admittedly, that was after Mt. Gox, which was this big sort of tragic moment of theft, you know, whatnot. So they felt the need to respond to that. But they put into place some sort of baselines. Switzerland, very early baselines. To be fair, FinCEN in the United States, to the point you made earlier, 2013 –
Jeremy – 00:10:49: They were the first out the gate.
Sheila – 00:10:49: They were the first out the gate, right? So we were right there with the early doctors.
Jeremy - 00:10:54: I literally – I founded Circle because of the FinCEN. I was like, I can actually do this. Like, it wasn't clear. I was thinking about it. But then it's like, okay, there's a way to do this legally.
Sheila - 00:11:05: It gave you room to maneuver, right?
Jeremy – 00:11:06: Right.
Sheila – 00:11:06: And then, you know. So in the meantime, you've had the EU, 27 member states. We cannot overstate how complicated it is to get –
Jeremy - 00:11:13: 600 pages of legislative text. 600 pages of legislative text.
Sheila - 00:11:15: That's the thing. They didn't even do a little thing. They did a massive thing. Like, look, views on that. It's very complicated. Not all of it is. It's far from perfect. Nevertheless, the amount of coordination it takes to coordinate the EP, the EC, like all the member states, to get that across the line. And here we are in the United States. It's like, what's going on, folks? You know? It is, to your point, it really is not only embarrassing. It is – I think it's shocking, actually. I find it quite shocking that there's this kind of almost abdication of responsibility to the global financial community, in a way. And maybe that sounds arrogant as an American to say, but I do think there's responsibility.
Jeremy – 00:11:49: Yeah.
Sheila – 00:11:50: Being the purveyors of the dollar, which does remain the single strongest connecting force in the global economy, to not have put forth some baseline guidance and promulgated some rules about what that ought to look like in a stablecoin. It's just – it's wild, right?
Jeremy - 00:12:05: Well, the interesting thing in the details on that, as you know, is there's actually a pretty deep consensus about doing it.
Sheila – 00:12:12: Yes.
Jeremy – 00:12:13: And actually, you know, the – My understanding, obviously, is there's legislative text that's very advanced and bipartisan that everyone's working hard to get done and all of this. And there's like these, you know, there's, you know, sort of what's the phrase? Don't let the enemy of perfect be the enemy of the good. That's kind of where we are.
Sheila - 00:12:34: That's legislation.
Jeremy - 00:12:34: But you have this. You have the federal system, federalist system really kind of showing its teeth here a little bit. And you have this kind of Fed versus states. And people are really like holding out. Like it seems like there's kind of a holding out for a certain, you know, level of control for the federal government. And that's, you know.
Sheila - 00:13:00: People just can't decide. And I think to your point, it's not a substantive issue. It's a procedural issue, right? And it's like which body, when, how, and then how do you get the body to function? And so the point that I make when I say 27 member states over and over again and the EP and the EC and all of that is that's not more complicated, you know, than the United States Congress, right? Where at the end of the day, yes, you represent different states in this and that different interest, but it is one country. And I'd like to think that we could move things along in a more efficient and quick manner because of our own procedures than, you know, Europe, which necessarily takes a lot of time, and yet here we are. So I don't, but I have to contextualize this again, right? This is not just about digital assets or crypto or stablecoins or any of these things. And I think that the industry tends to feel particularly persecuted.
Jeremy – 00:13:46: Right.
Sheila – 00:13:46: And I understand why that is. There are certain prominent voices in the government, you know, Chair Gensler, who have been sort of very vocal about their disdain or contempt even for the industry. But this is affecting everybody in the United States, right?
Jeremy – 00:13:59: Yeah.
Sheila – 00:14:00: Nothing is moving. You're not getting farm bill across, budget across. So many things. So many things. So the idea that we are specially persecuted is kind of silly and we should contextualize that for listeners too.
Jeremy - 00:14:11: Right. I fully by that. It's very easy to navel gaze.
Sheila – 00:14:16: That's right.
Jeremy – 00:14:16: And sort of be like, what's going on here?
Sheila - 00:14:19: It's actually that, you know, we're stuck in this traffic jam, you know, and we can't get out of the traffic circle.
Jeremy - 00:14:29: Yeah, absolutely. I'd be interested, you know, as you look at 2024 and CCI's agenda specifically. I know it probably overlaps a lot of what we just talked about. But, you know, what are the pillars that are there for you? And, you know, you're playing a really critical leadership role in the policy conversation. You know, what are the things that at the margin where you think you're going to have the greatest impact this year?
Sheila - 00:14:53: Yeah, it's a great question. I appreciate that. I do think that we're going to have, we already are having tremendous impact at the state level in the United States. We've expanded our work in the UK because I do think that the UK is looking, I mean, Rishi Sunak, who knows how the election, I think we all have a sense of how the UK elections will turn out, which we won't go into detail here, but I think we have a turnover of the government, right? And so there, I think we are trying to get some fit for purpose regulation in the UK. I think there is a lot to be said for the UK as a possible secondary locus where a lot of people want to kind of be. And I think we're all fatigued of saying post-Brexit, but you know, post-Brexit, I still think the UK is looking to be a leader in technologies. And so there's a lot of appetite there and things are moving quite quickly. So I think that's a place we're really paying attention. We're looking to expand CCI this year, hopefully into Japan a bit more. We have a lot of connections in JFSA and regulators there. We know well in FIN/SUM, but we haven't been very active in that region, in that country. So looking to do that a bit more. I think the recent Taiwanese elections just this last weekend, now that there's a little more sustained separation from China is going to be very interesting to see how the Taiwanese think about this and how that bleeds over into the work in Hong Kong and Singapore. So for us, as I mentioned, I think Washington remains a major focal point. But I think we have to be very realistic about Washington and what is happening in Washington, which we've contextualized. I think, well, I think this is the window. Like, I think we have a very strong window here to get something that actually is logical and sensible and quite thought through across. I hope that happens. I am optimistic about it, but cautiously. So, because again, as noted, there's all these X factors that just zoom in, you know, you just never really know. So I would say that's where we're looking. I think we're having, I think we're already having tremendous impact in those places and continue to do so. But I'll also say Jeremy, and as you know, from my work at the forum, I always saw my role as helping to legitimize and normalize this asset, this asset space, because technology is opportunity and the mainstreaming of it is on folks like you, right? But the normalizing of it, the saying, it's not scary. It's not dangerous. It does have to have guardrails around it and it's the job of government regulators and others to present those guardrails. But the opportunity is a very exciting one, and it's responsive to cultural changes that are happening regardless. And it's a way of actually mirroring those changes in our tech stack. And that might seem very weird or lofty, but I actually think it's crucially important and I remain committed to that narrative as well. Which I think is we’re having a lot of impact too.
Jeremy - 00:17:22: I appreciate that. And I see that, you know, it's actually really remarkable. I think, I feel like for five years, I've also been sort of here talking about tokenization. I don't know how many times I've done a tokenization panel. I'm doing another one this week, you know, I'm like this, but, but here we are. And last week, you know, the penultimate Davos man, Larry Fink is on television, you know, saying, you know, tokenization is the future. And so you kind of have, you know, it's almost like this weird book ending of like you, this, from this very nascent, you know, very disruptor kind of tech forward, you know, thing to, you know, someone who manages more, you know, assets than any other asset manager in the world, who's talking about this. We've come a long way, right? It's, it's really amazing.
Sheila - 00:18:10: You know, I was reminiscing. So the comms director of CCI is also used to work at the forum. And we were talking about the first time we were together in Davos was 2018.
Jeremy – 00:18:24: Yeah.
Sheila – 00:18:24: And that was height of the, you know, everything. I did like 47 interviews in three days. It was just crazy. And I remember thinking what I was saying at that time was it's inevitable. We have a world with a CBDC, stablecoins and cryptocurrencies. And it was like this radical thing to say, you know, it's like, what do you mean? How can that be? You know? And I didn't think that was-
Jeremy – 00:18:41: And now that's being coded into law.
Sheila – 00:18:43: Exactly right. It's like, we have those things, friends. Like, here we are. You know, now I feel like the radical thing I'm saying this go around however many years, five or six years later, how many years later? Seven years later. Wow. What I'm saying now is, you know, Web3 and AI, like you're going to see the blockchain and AI, like those are integrally connected. And I think very obvious. And again, people are like, that's crazy. What is she saying? That doesn't make any sense. And I'm like, let's just see what happens the next time. You know? So yeah, I think that's part of the role, right? Is to kind of say, here are the things that are really factually happening. Here's the evidence. It's not something to be afraid of. It's something to actually figure out. What's the opportunity for my company, for my country, for my citizens, for me personally, for my creative endeavors, right? And I don't know. That's why I think I, that's why we all stay in this space.
Jeremy – 00:19:27: Totally.
Sheila – 00:19:28: Just endlessly exciting.
Jeremy - 00:19:29: It is. And I mean, back then it was the, you know, the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution. And these were all the, these, all these were mutually reinforcing technologies. And we're actually seeing that, you know, in some ways emerging, which is pretty cool, which is actually maybe a good way to pivot the conversation a little bit to, you know, you know, you have obviously a job to do, so to speak with CCI, but you're also someone who's just been involved and around this technology space for a very long time as well. You know, what are you most excited about? I mean, we touched on Web3 and AI, but, you know, you have a broad landscape that you're looking at too, because of all the different creative firms and other things. What's exciting for you? And, you know, last leading comment on that is there's been a period of time where a lot of people sort of wrote off the space and ignored it. And this is all just about frauds and criminals and all this stuff. But, you know, actually there's just been a tremendous amount of technical progress being made in the background. And so, you know, I'd be interested with those two kind of lenses, what are you seeing and what are you excited about?
Sheila - 00:20:48: Yeah, well, I'll start kind of at the end again, which is to say, you know, I do think in 23, and to be fair, there was a lot of fraud and criminals. The good thing about 23 is a lot of them left or they were caught. And so we're in a very different place now. And those who remained quiet in the background, like I have the luxury of saying I love a bear market because people build, right? People who stick are very committed and they have time and space without the sort of frenzy of all the, you know, everything, like just all the focus and the attention to actually build, this is complicated stuff. It's very, very hard. And so I think we've seen tremendous progress in a lot of areas that I was very excited about. So everything from, you know, Ordinals to Web3 and AI to the gaming movement. So that's coming up. And so for me, back when I got in this space in 2015, I came at it from a data play. Like actually, funnily enough, like as we talked about this at length, right? Yeah. So I was general counsel of a social enterprise and I was very concerned about privacy and data and data hacking and all these kinds of things. This was Pre-Cambridge Analytica and all that, any of that kind of stuff. But that only cemented and fueled my sort of concerns in this space. And so I'm happy to see that that is now becoming, it's shifting slowly to that being the major topic. And it's not to say that the financial services component is not crucial to get right. But it is one part of a much bigger story around Web3 and Blockchain technologies.
Jeremy – 00:22:08: Absolutely.
Sheila – 00:22:08: That I have been waiting for. So I feel tremendously excited about those possibilities and as they can start to connect. And as you see things like, to in-game tokens, as you see this kind of tokenization concept, one sort of side note or related is I find it so, because it's exactly right. We did that, I think it was 2019. We did an issue briefing, as they call it on tokenization, right? And now here we are, you know, five years later and it's the same conversation largely. But this whole real world asset thing I find so funny. What's the real world, right? How I think about that, how my parents think about it, how my kids think about it is very different. Very different.
Jeremy – 00:22:44: Right.
Sheila – 00:22:45: So the joke I made is just very ridiculous. It's like, you know, people in crypto can drive a Lambo through the real world, you know, term, right? And think about that in a very different way. So all of those things, I think. And I think what I'm seeing is a pre-Cambrian explosion all over again of different innovation, different projects, largely around data and tokens and how you think about that value exchange happening that is not meant to be currency or payments or anything like that. It doesn't resemble money, but it is exchanging that value. And how those are going to connect, I think, is it's just going to start to explode.
Jeremy - 00:23:21: Yeah, it seems like it. I have thought a bunch about kind of the interaction with AI as well. And that is, frankly, a data issue at the end of the day, right? Which is, you know, provenance of data, you know, what is verifiable, you know, crypto is a way to give proofs and provide proofs and provide proofs to machines and provide proofs that people can depend upon for the kinds of output that's going to flow through these neural nets that we don't really know what's going on, you know, but so it's going to be a huge intersection there.
Sheila - 00:23:59: Yeah. And, you know, here's how I think about it to put this a bit crassly, which is, you know, the reason people are like, oh, Sheila, are you going to now, you know, pivot to AI or whatever? I'm like, why would I do that? First of all, they're so connected, right? Second of all, like nobody just, you just follow fads like that. That's a little nuts. But also the way I see this is crypto and blockchain technologies, they are about empowering people and creating agency. AI is about empowering machines, right? And if I have to choose one, I'm going to every time, like, as you know, I mean, I think it's interesting to see the different political philosophies in our industry, but I remain committed to the idea that it's a path to more empowerment, agency, and equality, more inclusion. And that's something I've been committed to my entire career. So not sure I would actually be like, machines are great, you know, but as it stands, this is the chance I think we have to preserve our agency within these systems that are coming. And they're, I was going to say they're coming for us. That sounds very dramatic, but you know, they are coming, right? And the idea that I'm going to be outsourcing certain responsibilities to my AI agent, turn back another AI agent. Well, I want to make, pretty darn sure that I have a stable mechanism for that governance behind it, right?
Jeremy - 00:25:08: Provable computation, which is what smart contracts are and, you know, provide this transparent execution machine that can interact, even more important, right?
Sheila – 00:25:17: That's right.
Jeremy – 00:25:17: You know, I periodically put a poll up on Twitter or X, which is, you know, in the future, will AI agents pay for things and pay each other using, you know, A, stablecoins, B, credit cards, or C, CBDCs. And the numbers keep going up for stablecoins, which is sort of, you know, interesting because I think people are realizing like, yeah, of course, they're going to use this kind of thing that works anywhere on the internet and, you know, where you can spin up a wallet automatically and do these things.
Sheila – 00:25:52: Exactly.
Jeremy – 00:25:53: It’s interesting convergence. It'll be interesting if 2024 start seeing some of these, you know, launching. You know, I guess starting the year, I'd be interested in your take. We've sort of seen what some people are saying is like a new bull market in digital assets. And certainly from a price action perspective and a trading perspective, that seems like the case. But not asking you to comment on markets or anything like that. But, does this kind of approval that happened last week and the launch of Bitcoin ETFs? Do you think it is a watershed moment, an inflection point? Do you think it's going to change the interest that major institutions have, not even necessarily in investing and owning Bitcoin, but in sort of is this validation that will cause people to come back to this and say, okay, well, this Larry Fink saying this or whatever.
Sheila - 00:26:58: Despite Jamie Dimon. Yeah.
Jeremy - 00:26:59: Well, you know. Yes.
Sheila – 00:27:02: The spectrum. 
Jeremy – 00:27:03: Yes. But is it that change?
Sheila - 00:27:05: Yeah. So I do think it's a watershed moment. But I would say I don't think that it's drawing new interest. I think it's just surfacing interest that preexisted. So as we all know, many institutions have been operating. They've been focusing on build in this space for a long time, just very quietly. And I think that's just because we know it was loud back in 2017 to 18. It got really quiet. It didn't vanish, right? Some of those products were put on ice and services. Some were just relegated to a different part of the business. But I think you're going to see some of that come to light. And I think people are going to be surprised by how sophisticated the thinking really is inside institutions. They're not catching up. They've been paying attention all along, okay? It's not a surprise 11 institutions applied for ETF applications, right? So they're all paying attention. So I think it's more than that.
Jeremy - 00:27:49: Right. You look at the authorized participants as well. It's literally the top tier of the entire financial industry.
Sheila - 00:27:56: So they've been looking for a long time, okay? And so I think that, again, it's not necessarily new interest. It's just a renewal. It's more acceptable to have that interest be open. What I think is going to happen is we're seeing now this sort of intersectionality of traditional financial services and products with Cryptonator, these kinds of products. And what that mashup will look like. Tokenization, exactly. What that mashup will look like, you're situated, the person to kind of understand that. But I think we're going to see a bunch of experiments. Some will fail. Some will succeed. Some will hit really big. But I think that mashup is now going to become more palatable to the big institutions. So again, it's not new interest, but I think you're going to see more creativity and how they're thinking about that connection, right? I also think we've seen various of these institutions who are kind of getting a sense of something I talk about a lot, which is we have to think about scale differently. You know, so the whole premise, I think, of crypto token-driven communities and whatnot is that you can spin them up in ways that are quite customized and bespoke. And so it's really more about extensibility than scalability. It's not that we're going to have one service that billion users like Facebook style, right? That's not really the future. It's going to be, this is customizable and programmable and configurable to whatever the needs of the community or the group or whatever are at the time or the partnership or whatever at the time. They might spin up and spin down. So I think I'm actually starting to see a lot more of that recasting happening internally at some big institutions, which I think funnily enough, I actually think some folks in crypto kind of miss it. And there's some folks following a very traditional path. That's like, well, if I don't have, you know. If I don't corner the entire market on everything on X, therefore, that's problematic somehow. And I'm like, that's not really how it works. It's about the config. I mean, you talk about this all the time. The programmability of it.
Jeremy – 00:29:45: Yes.
Sheila – 00:29:46: The configurability. That's what is actually an unlock.
Jeremy – 00:29:47: It is the breakthrough. That is a huge breakthrough.
Sheila – 00:29:48: That's the breakthrough. That's the breakthrough.
Jeremy - 00:29:49: So few people are focused on that. Maybe a last question on this topic, which is in the last cycle, there was a huge amount of attention on DAOs. But as you're talking, right, token-based ways of organizing communities of interest or of kind of pooling together activity, incentivizing things, all this. Do you believe that part of the policy agenda needs to be clear rules around basically organizational forms that use digital tokens as their fundamental organizing mechanisms?
Sheila - 00:30:35: That's really interesting. So yes and no. First of all, I think we're going to – DAOs are never going away. They're going to get rebranded and renamed something. I don't know what. I'd love to – maybe I'll spend some time thinking about what that might be and try to land something there. But they're not going to go away. Because that is the sort of organizing mechanism.
Jeremy – 00:30:50: Tokenized organizations.
Sheila – 00:30:51: Exactly. Real-world asset tokenized organizations, right? Our wettos. I don't know. Whatever it is. So her to her first, folks. But I think – so I was – to go back a little bit and give you a little context, I was one of the attorneys who worked on the Flexible Purpose Corporation in California, which really ushered in this concept, which was radical at the time, that you could actually pursue profits and pursue social good. And that was a legitimate – exactly. All of that, right? L3Cs, all these kinds of things, H-Corps. And so I do think it's something. At some point, a corporate form becomes useful. But that is much after, I think, the principles and concepts had been percolating for a while, right? So B-Corps actually predate H-Corps. And a B-Corps was just a private, essentially, certification stamp that said, you're a company doing these things. Yay for you. You're great. You know, et cetera, right? And then taking that and making that actually – classifying it as a new type of corporation was the next step. And so I think we're going to see things like some – I don't know. I don't know if it's going to be like a B-Corps-style thing, but something like that, that is certification of a certain style of responsibly operated DAO or whatever it is. And that will then turn us in. But I think we're a little early to do that, and it would lock us in too much. So I actually would personally resist any sort of movement to codify that right now. I think right now it's very contractually based, and there's extraordinarily talented lawyers that can do those contracts.
Jeremy – 00:32:09: Right.
Sheila – 00:32:10: But codifying it, I think, let's wait and see how it plays out. But at some point, that will become useful. And at that point, I will probably be among the people. I'm kidding for that.
Jeremy - 00:32:19: Yeah. Yeah. I'm personally very excited about that whole arena too. But – well, listen, Sheila, this has been great to have you on again and wonderful dialogue. And enjoy the forum this week.
Sheila - 00:32:33: Yeah, of course. Always. Thanks so much, Jeremy. Great to see you.
Jeremy - 00:32:35: Thank you.
Jeremy Allaire
Co-Founder, CEO & Chairman at Circle
Sheila Warren
CEO, Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI)

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