Crypto-related stories are coming to New York

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Crypto-related stories are coming to New York

On Wednesday, Leo Schwartz delivers insights on policy and regulation in the Friday edition of Fortune Crypto, which is hosted by Leo Schwartz.

The crypto circus has rolled into New York's Southern District, where every crypto reporter will find themselves trapped in the electronics-free courthouse for hours every day, led by the newly shorn Sam Bankman-Fried.

While I will soon become part of this unplugged cohort, it's crucial to remember that there are other stories in the world of digital assets. In Washington, D.C., that includes everyone's favorite gridlock, where crypto legislation remains a frustration-stricken carrot just out of reach.

Everyone is rightly transfixed by the chaos in the House of Representatives, where crypto advocate and financial services chair Patrick McHenry temporarily took over after the Freedom Caucus members and Democrats teamed up to oust Kevin McCarthy. While McHenry likely won't hold on to the cursed Speaker position, one name being bandied about is another blockchain booster-fellow financial services member and Majority Whip Tom Emmer.

The rising profile of McHenry and Emmer will likely be bullish for crypto bills, as both are trying to convince Democrats on their committee-and their counterparts over in the Senate-to horse trade over stablecoin and market structure legislation. While flying under the radar, the National Economic Council deputy director Bharat Ramamurti left the White House with a positive signal for the future of digital assets regulation.

The type of figure that wields large influence in D.C. but is largely unknown outside of the concentric circles of hill staffers, lobbyists, and advocacy groups that shape U.S. policy. Ramamurti, a member of the transition team and original member of his National Economic Council, joined the Biden administration as one of the progressive wing's emissaries. He inherited a wide range of portfolios in the administration, resulting in pushes on core initiatives like student debt relief.

With his former boss from Massachusetts, Ramamurti was among the administration's key voices against crypto. The near passing of stablecoin legislation in July has become the stuff of legends in crypto circles-McHenry and ranking member Waters reportedly had a deal before the White House intervened to block it.

The prevailing Wisdown is that the call came from Lael Brainard, the former director of the National Economic Council and former member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Ramamurti was on vacation, but people familar told me that McHenry blamed him for gumming up the process.

Of course, the world of crypto policy is celebrating the news. As one policy head at a crypto firm put it to me, I reached out to Ramamurti but didn't hear back.

The open question will be who will take over Ramamurti's position at the NEC and whether Brainard will play ball with the House Financial Services Committee. Despite stablecoins being the ostensible low-hanging fruit in crypto legislation, it may not even be McHenry's focus, with market structure still a priority for the temporary speaker as he negotiates with the Senate Banking Committee.

The FTX founder revealed a new haircut on the first day of Sam Bankman-Fried's trial, and the judge oversaw the first stages of jury selection.

A judge rejected the SEC's bid to appeal its initial loss to Ripple, resulting in XRP to increase in price, though a later appeal is still likely in the cards after the case is completed.

The crypto firm has also been granted a full license to operate as a major payments institution in Singapore.

The legal battle between the SEC and Coinbase is on the upswing, with the SEC asking a judge to reject Coinbase's motion to dismiss the agency's lawsuit.

A defense lawyer explains why Sam Bankman-Fried's glow-up could matter to a prospective jury.