CAITLIN LONG - A Passionate Dignitary And Blessing For The Blockchain Industry
Caitlin Long is a very accomplished luminary and extremely blockchain and crypto savvy. She brings an intersection of the legacy financial world and the cryptocurrency industry together. She is a 22-year Wall Street veteran who has been active in bitcoin since 2012, and whose passion is a fair and stable financial system. Caitlin saw inaccuracies in Wall Street’s ledger systems while running Morgan Stanley’s pension solutions business (2007-2016). She held senior roles at Credit Suisse (1997-2007) and started her career at Salomon Brothers (1994-1997).
She also holds degrees from Harvard Law School (JD, 1994), the Kennedy School of Government (MPP, 1994) and the University of Wyoming (BA, 1990). Caitlin explains how she first discovered crypto and her viewpoints and insights below...
How did you first get into the crypto/blockchain industry?
“In 2012 I came across bitcoin in Austrian School economics circles. But I didn’t act on it right away, just as most people don’t when they first hear about bitcoin. It’s bewildering at first, and it takes time and repetition to sink in. Then, in February 2013, I was flat on my back for days recovering from surgery when an article by Jeffrey Tucker hit my inbox. It contained some “how-to” advice about bitcoin, and I remember thinking “it’s finally time to figure this thing out.” That day I set up my first wallet.”
When asked after spending 22 Years on Wall Street, how did you get involved with crypto and blockchain in Wyoming? Caitlin replied,
“It all started when I tried to donate bitcoin to my alma mater, the University of Wyoming. However, I ran directly into Wyoming’s bad money transmitter law (MTL). Wyoming was one of 3 states with bad language in its MTL that prompted leading companies to leave the space. The school could not find anyone to exchange bitcoin for fiat so they had to decline the donation.
I said to them, “let’s get this fixed because I’m not the only one who is going to run into this [problem].” That’s what got everything started.”
What was your motivation in starting the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, and why do you feel passionate about this?
“My passion is honest ledgers. That must sound odd and tremendously boring to your readers. But most folks don’t realize that the financial system’s ledgers are not honest. When I figured this out, it was like a betrayal — a punch to the gut — that made me question my chosen profession. But it’s true. We do not have a fair and honest financial system.
One reason is that Wall Street’s accounting systems are rarely in sync with each other and smart actors have figured out how to exploit these inconsistencies to their advantage. Some of this is nefarious, but much of it is just systemic sloppiness. We will only have a fair financial system when we restore property rights back to the owners of assets in the financial system and account for them using honest ledgers.”
Caitlin Long jumped to blockchain to try to fix these problems, and from 2016-2018, was chairman and president of Symbiont, an enterprise blockchain company, where she jointly spearheaded blockchain delivery of index data to Vanguard. Since January 2018, Caitlin has volunteered in her native state of Wyoming to enact a series of enabling blockchain laws and is a gubernatorial appointee to the Wyoming Blockchain Task Force. These new laws in the blockchain and cryptocurrency field are now coming to fruition and bringing this US State to the forefront and becoming known as a mini Silicon Valley.
Wyoming is the trailblazer and is the only state to have given legal clarity to what the assets are of the cryptocurrency industry. The culture of Wyoming has always been to “buck the system”. In fact, it has been the motto of the University of Wyoming since 1886. It has a history of being one of innovation, of being first in inventing and implementing new ideas and legal systems. Wyoming has a history of doing what’s right and a general philosophy of “good fences make good neighbors” quoted by Trace Mayer, a philosopher, entrepreneur, and investor.
Some of the innovation’s Wyoming can proudly own is the first state to give women the right to vote. It also created the Limited Liability Company (LLC) in 1977 which is a business organization that helps small businesses function and is available globally. A clear advantage to the LLC registrants is privacy.
The laws do not require any disclosure as to who owns the assets, therefore privacy is protected in the state of Wyoming and is even a great advantage outside of the crypto industry laws that have been recognized. It also has a no income tax and no property tax on a state level on Crypto assets, so it’s very tax-friendly. Congress and the people of Wyoming value the concept of self-custody, self-control, rugged individualism of their own destiny.
These new, fair and precise laws have generated much interest on a global level from businesses, and crypto exchanges alike, with many considering moving to the State of Wyoming. Caitlin Long estimates around $20 billion worth of crypto custodians that are lining up to become domicile in Wyoming. That will lead to a coat-tail effect where others will follow. IOHK has already moved from Hong Kong now based in Wyoming and now a Wyoming company. Also, Kraken is showing great interest in re-locating.
The biggest news being, these large companies applying to be a Special Purpose Depository Institution. (SPDI) Otherwise affectionately named Speedy Bank. The SPDI Bank is designed to be an on/off ramp between the fiat traditional financial industry and the crypto-financial industry. It will solve a lot of problems with traditional banks that won’t bank startup companies. There will be many exchanges coming into Wyoming to solve this barrier as well as SEC level compliance on custody of crypto securities. Caitlin says,
“Once we get going with these I think you’re going to see Wyoming become the mecca for financial services in this niche part of the industry.”
Caitlin Long has a lot of clout in the crypto industry and has brought Bitcoin and Blockchain through a 22 year Wall St. veterans lens. She has helped in making enormous changes that benefit the crypto/blockchain industry within the Wyoming jurisdiction, making it the only US state to provide a comprehensive, welcoming legal framework that enables blockchain technology to flourish for both individuals and companies.
What are some ideas you’re excited about in the blockchain ecosystem?
“I’m most excited by the idea of making securities markets a lot fairer to regular folks by issuing and trading securities on a blockchain. This idea was originally that of Symbiont, my former company — and it’s a great one. The insight is that if a company registers its shares on a blockchain at its genesis moment — which is when it registers with the Secretary of State in its state of incorporation — then it's stock ledger will be accurate, honest and tamper-proof. No more phantom shares of Dole Food or inaccuracies in the P&G proxy vote! Blockchains can clean this up.”
Caitlin Long is the Chairman of the annual Wyohackathon and brought the first event last year in 2018 to celebrate Wyoming passing the first five Bills during the 2018 legislative session and passed eight more Bills during the 2019 legislative session making it more substantial to help the crypto and blockchain industry.
Caitlin Long shares her insights on custody assets in crypto and why certain laws need to be implemented at this stage in the crypto industry.
Most well known for her advocacy of her home state of Wyoming and bringing in businesses and developers, in fact, all sorts of players to have innovation in the state. The State of Wyoming and Caitlin herself are crypto agnostic and would like to see all platforms interoperable. Caitlin believes we all win if all crypto companies work together as different coins have different use cases and can synergistically provide the best solutions for the community on all levels. Crypto is classed as property in Wyoming. Laws are written to expansively include all cryptocurrencies.
Notably, the Governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon signed a proclamation literally using the words “Making Wyoming the cryptocurrency capital of the United States”
Wyoming has now enacted a total of 13 blockchain enabling laws. These laws enable innovation and creativity and are meant to bring capital, jobs, and revenue to Wyoming along with a safe haven for all cryptocurrency users and companies.
Click HERE to view the top highlights regarding Wyoming’s Blockchain laws
Wyoming Hackathon A Huge Success
Wyohackathon was a complete success. Bigger and better this year. Last year the prize fund was a little over $100,000, this year $200,000 was given away. This has resulted in many companies moving or pledging to move to Wyoming to take advantage of these unprecedented laws for crypto and blockchain.
Caitlin Long did say, “We have no idea how many businesses have come here. The State of Wyoming doesn’t keep track and if it did, then you wouldn’t have your privacy. So I can’t give you a precise answer and I don’t mind that”
Markethive’s founders Thomas Prendergast, CEO, Annette Swindt, SA, and Douglas Yates, CTO attended the confluence over the weekend meeting many speakers and luminaries in the crypto space resulting in great headway for Markethive. As Markethive is domiciled in the State of Wyoming, this is great news.
A Crypto/Blockchain enthusiast and a strong advocate for technology, progress, and freedom of speech. I embrace "change" with a passion and my purpose in life is to help people understand, accept and move forward with enthusiasm to achieve their goals.