In December of last year, then-CEO of Bakkt Kelly Loeffler suddenly found herself thrust into an entirely different role. She was tapped to be a U.S. Senator for the state of Georgia after Johnny Isakson announced that he would be resigning, and Loeffler now gets to help shape public policy on cryptocurrency. As one of her first assignments, Loeffler is going to serve on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (CANF), which oversees certain functions of the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The committee announced the appointment in a press release published this past Tuesday.
The appointment makes sense, given that Loeffler already had a strong relationship with members of the CFTC. When Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of Bakkt, selected her to lead the crypto derivatives exchange, she got down to business by working with the CFTC to seek approval for the launch of physically-settled crypto contracts. She is also the wife of Jeffrey Sprecher, who founded, and serves as chairman and CEO of, ICE.
As part of the CANF, the new Senator will be responsible for helping to nominate commissioners and chairs for the CFTC. The CANF is also tasked with creating the definitions that will reauthorize the commission as a federal regulator. If there are any concerns that Loeffler’s background will cause a conflict of interest, she quells these by explaining that she has “worked hard to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the Senate’s ethics rules and will continue to do so every day. I will recuse myself if needed on a case by case basis.”
Loeffler, who is also a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, will join the ranks of other CANF committee members, including Pat Roberts, Mitch McConnell, Mike Braun, Deb Fischer and others. Roberts, who serves as the chairman of the committee, said of Loeffler’s selection, “I welcome our newest member of the Agriculture Committee, Senator Kelly Loeffler. Her farming roots make her a welcome addition to the Committee, and I look forward to her participation.”
Loeffler was sworn in as a member of the CANF by VP Mike Pence this past Monday. She takes the place of David Perdue, another Georgia senator, who moved to a different committee earlier this month. She said during the swearing-in ceremony, “Growing up on the family farm, I understand the vital importance of agriculture to our state, and the issues facing rural communities and local businesses firsthand. On the Senate Agriculture Committee, I will stand with our farmers, advance pro-growth policies, and proudly promote our Georgia Grown products. I will work around the clock to keep America growing.”
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