Future Tense

Why Does a U.S. Senator Have Laser Eyes on Twitter Now?

It’s a Bitcoin thing, obviously.

Cynthia Lummis' Twitter profile picture with laser eyes.
Sen. Cynthia Lummis is a big fan of Bitcoin. Twitter

The junior senator from America’s least populous state has its most dangerous retinas. On Friday, Wyoming’s Cynthia Lummis added laser eyes to her Twitter profile picture, confounding the political press and delighting cryptocurrency investors on the platform. Photoshopping laser eyes onto profile pictures has become a calling card among Bitcoin adherents who are trying to rally the cryptocurrency to reach a price of $100,000. On Twitter, the movement has taken on the hashtag #LaserRayUntil100K, which refers to a pledge among users to keep the laser rays until Bitcoin hits that golden number.

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A Twitter user with the handle AMERICAN HODL asked Lummis to don the laser eyes in a post on Thursday that read, “@SenLummis we’re all going with laser eyes until 100k #bitcoin and it would be a privilege to have you join in on the fun. No pressure! But it would be awesome if you did senator.” The tweet received about 400 likes. Lummis’ office sent a statement to the Hill about her profile picture reading, “Sen. Lummis is a big supporter of digital assets and financial innovation, and the laser eyes are showing that support.”

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Also donning laser eyes on Twitter was Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump White House’s extremely short-tenured former communications director and founder of SkyBridge Capital, an investment firm that’s recently launched a Bitcoin fund. Major players in the cryptocurrency space have also taken part in the meme, such as MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, whose company has been increasing its convertible debt offering in order to buy more Bitcoin.

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The cryptocurrency has been reaching record highs over the past month and attained a trillion-dollar market value on Friday. The cost of a single Bitcoin is about $55,600 as of Friday afternoon; its price has surged more than 80 percent this year. Bitcoin’s most recent whirlwind rise seems to have been sparked by Tesla purchasing about $1.5 billion in Bitcoin in early February, which fueled speculation that other major corporate institutions would be buying in as well. BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, said on Wednesday that the company is also looking into investing in Bitcoin.

Lummis, who won Wyoming’s open Senate seat in 2020, said helping her colleagues understand Bitcoin was one of her priorities. (Until she added laser eyes, she was probably best known as one of the senators who objected to certifying Pennsylvania’s election results in January.)“So my first couple of years probably will just be talking to people about it, explaining what it is, how it works, what it does, what it can do, what it doesn’t do and why I think it should be part of a diversified asset allocation,” Lummis told Bitcoin Magazine, adding that she believes states should be the ones to come up with their own cryptocurrency regulations, rather than the federal government.

The senator first purchased Bitcoin around 2013, encountering it when she served as Wyoming’s state treasurer and was looking at investment strategies for the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund. Lummis has recently been trying to convince Elon Musk to move to Wyoming, pitching the state as having the “best laws” for cryptocurrency. She’s reportedly reached out but hasn’t received a response.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.

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