Senate prepares hearing for crypto and blockchains
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill might finally be getting serious about digital currency
Facebook’s Libra project may not have been received well by regulators or lawmakers from virtually anywhere in the world, but something good may have come out of the almost-stablecoin. A hearing is going to be held next week on Capitol Hill to discuss digital currencies and regulations for the crypto space, something that should have taken place a long time ago.
The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee is preparing a hearing for July 30 called “Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain.” It marks the first time any congressional committee has put together a hearing with the sole purpose of discussing digital currencies and blockchains.
Invited to attend are Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire, international trade and finance specialist Rebecca Nelson and Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine, Mehrsa Baradaran. While more participation from others in the crypto community would have been nice, it’s at least a step in the right direction.
Libra inadvertently got the ball rolling. When representatives from Facebook and Libra were being grilled on Capitol Hill last week, MeltemDemirors, managing director of US operations for Coinshares, said, “Bitcoin is a technology … a network … and a cryptocurrency. The technology is not regulated. Much like the internet, it could be considered a public good … Libra is not like bitcoin.” She added, “It is inevitable that the Bitcoin ecosystem will continue to move forward. The question is, where?”
That may have caused lawmakers to actually stop and realize that a piece of the crypto puzzle was missing. Now, legislators appear to be taking digital currencies more seriously and could be ready to introduce policies to regulate the space.