It’s Different This Time: “Overwhelmingly Positive” and Bullish Crypto Hearing Before Congress

On Wednesday, top executives from six major cryptocurrency companies urged Congress to provide clearer rules for the growing crypto industry so that innovation can thrive in the US, warning that tough restrictions can push it overseas.

It was the first time the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee hearing had crypto industry representatives explain to them just what exactly is going on in the booming space.

“Without tailored legislative solutions that are openly debated with public participation, the United States risks unnecessarily onerous and chilling laws and regulations,” warned Alesia Haas, Coinbase CFO.

Democratic Representative Maxine Waters, who chairs the panel, singled out Facebook Diem stablecoin plans as a major concern given the company's massive global reach.

“Currently, cryptocurrency markets have no overarching centralized framework,” also commented Waters.

Congressman Warren Davidson called stablecoins “the lowest-hanging fruit” while Brian Brooks, current CEO of Bitfury and a former Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), had this to say:

“Is it consistent to take the position that only banks should be allowed to issue stablecoins but then fail to grant bank charters to the largest issuers of stablecoins?”

The hearing has the crypto community hopeful that congress would bring diligent and supportive regulations going forward, given the lack of outright bias towards crypto. Instead of going with antagonistic questions, they wanted to understand the industry.

“This hearing, though, has felt different. Almost every member of this committee has been between hesitant — but inquisitive/open to the idea that their concerns can be addressed — and outright enthusiastic about figuring out a way to make crypto a part of the U.S. landscape,” said Sam Trabucco, CEO of crypto quant trading firm Alameda Research.

Some lawmakers also praised the executives for leading the way on what could be a pivotal technology.

“I am tremendously impressed. I see a lot of ingenuity, a lot of entrepreneurial spirit,” said Representative Pete Sessions. “We need to be supportive of you.”

“​​Crypto is facilitating Web 3.0, which gives Americans ownership over their digital lives so Big Tech can’t continue to profit off of Internet users,” tweeted Congressman Tom Emmer, who is a member of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.

Overall, the crypto industry found this hearing “overwhelmingly positive” and bullish, with congress members asking informed questions about the rapidly-evolving landscape.

“U.S. crypto regulation is fascinating and important, and after listening to this, I'm optimistic it's in solid hands,” commented Trabucco.

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