Upcoming U.S. senate hearing an attempt to hash out crypto concerns


U.S. regulators have been pondering the implications of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for some time

Now, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will conduct a special hearing to talk more about how this type of oversight might work.

Press releases and reports show the hearing is set for next Tuesday at 10:00 AM, in the Dirksen Senate office building.

The committee hearing, titled “Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain,” will assumedly involve stakeholders looking at how the SEC and CFTC have ruled on cryptocurrencies, as well as how to value and regulate various types of cryptocurrency assets from coins to potential bitcoin ETFs proposed to the SEC over the past few years.

“It is unclear if this would be a fact-finding mission or if any specific pieces of legislation would be discussed,” writes Nikhilish De today at Coindesk. “Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, representing the Blockchain Association; Rebecca Nelson, a member of the Congressional Research Service specializing in international trade and finance; and Mehrsa Baradaran, a law professor at the University of California Irvine School of Law will testify as expert witnesses.”

De notes that Facebook’s David Marcus, who heads up the social media giants Libra stablecoin project, has engaged with Senate Banking Committee members in a number of hearings recently, talking about some of the nuts and bolts of how Facebook’s coin would work.

“Marcus was brief in his remarks responding to allegations of Facebook’s privacy scandals and ties to Russian interference into the 2016 election, noting only that the firm had made mistakes in the past but has since invested in a number of programs to fix those problems.,” wrote Frank Chaparro and Aislinn Keely at The Block July 16, characterizing the two-hour hearing and Marcus’ testimony. … In response (to questions,) Marcus said the association shared its white paper early on to garner the necessary feedback, and that there was still ‘a lot of work to do between now and the launch.’”

But Facebook Libra is only one offering in a growing fintech segment that seems to beg for proactive regulation. To that end, these hearings will represent part of a vanguard effort by legislators to take on the issue of crypto writ large, to actually make it a functioning part of the American economy with its own rules and structure.