Today, crypto leaders are going before a U.S. legislative panel to talk about the path forward for cryptocurrencies and related technologies.
Participants are reported to include executives from Circle, as well as FTX’s Sam Bankman Fried, one of the wealthiest and most prominent exchange-involved entrepreneurs around.
Another party sending representatives to the meeting is the Coinbase exchange, one of the newest darlings of the defi asset community.
“Cryptocurrencies create unique opportunities for expanding people’s economic freedom around the world,” Coinbase spokespersons write. “Digital currencies’ essential borderlessness facilitates free trade, even in countries with tight government controls over citizens’ finances. In places where inflation is a key problem, cryptocurrencies can provide an alternative to dysfunctional fiat currencies for savings and payments.”
After going public with COIN within the past year, Coinbase had to shutter a proposed Lend program for crypto lending over challenges from the SEC. Coinbase reps have said they found the SEC’s activity to be vague and unhelpful.
“According to Coinbase, the SEC threatened the company with a lawsuit if it launched the Lend feature,” wrote Mitchell Clark at The Verge Sept. 20. “The regulatory body argued that Lend would deal with securities, and would therefore be regulated as an investment product. Earlier in September, Coinbase’s CEO posted a thread on Twitter, saying that the SEC hadn’t been clear with it about why the feature would be considered a security, or what Coinbase could do to fix it. Still, the Lend feature does seem similar to an interest-bearing bond, which would typically be regulated as securities as an apparent subtweet from the SEC pointed out.”
Today, in the hearing, as of press time, legislator Patrick McHenry of North Carolina is talking about a way forward.
“As with any new and fast-growing industry there are questions,” McHenry said. “The goal today is to listen, learn and ask questions.”
McHenry talked about seeing whether legislators understand crypto well enough to make decisions now, or if additional information is needed. He called for the US to be a leader in embracing new technologies.
Watch today’s hearing live as legislators wrestle with emerging realities around defi and how it intersects with traditional banking.