Executives from Crypto Powerhouses Testified Before Congress

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Executives from crypto powerhouses including Coinbase, Circle, and FTX exchange testified before Congress at the hearing of the US House Committee on Financial Services.

The hearing, called Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Financial Innovation in the United States,” took place on Wednesday, December 8, that featured CEO of Circle, Jeremy Allaire; CEO of FTX crypto exchange, Samuel Bankman-Fried; CEO of Bitfury Group, Brian P.Brooks; CEO of Paxos Trust Company, Charles Cascarilla; CEO of Steller Development Foundation, Denelle Dixon; and CFO of Coinbase Global, Alesia Jeanne Haas.

The hearing was called by Representative Maxine Waters of California, the committee’s Democratic chairwoman. It was part of a Congress’ fact-finding mission that would help members of the US House Committee on Financial Service determine what steps to take on crypto legislation. In the hearing, witnesses explained the promises and perils of the crypto industry to the committee.

Executives of leading crypto companies stressed the need for a sound regulatory framework. The hearing was broadcasted live on Youtube. Jeremy Allaire was the first to testify who in his opening remarks said:

“In a world where money becomes a core feature of the internet, the US should aggressively promote the use of the dollar as the primary currency of the internet, and leverage that as a source of national economic competitiveness, security and a major upgrade needed for more efficient and inclusive financial services.”

Alesia Jeanne Haas, CFO of Coinbase Global, said that crypto would “drive transformational change across society in positive ways” and therefore, “sound regulation is central to fueling crypto innovation and adoption.”

She also introduced Coinbase Digital Asset Policy Proposal (dapp), a proposal that assessed the challenges of the existing regulatory framework and proposed a four-pillar solution. Coinbase dapp proposes that the government should regulate crypto under a new framework and “responsibility for this new framework should be assigned to a single federal regulator.”

Some people interpret the hearing as US legislators taking a hostile approach towards digital assets and blockchain space. But according to all the witnesses, the environment was very productive and friendly suggesting Congress is now serious to regulate this burgeoning financial sector. CEO of Circle, on Twitter, wrote:

“The level of engagement was high, and members were taking this very seriously.  Very thoughtful questions on so many issues from so many members, across the aisle.  There was a real commitment to engaging and understanding.”

Samuel Bankman-Fried said:

“I came in expecting some hostility and grandstanding, but instead found the discussion to be by and large productive and helpful. I’m excited to keep engaging with lawmakers and regulators to refine the regulatory landscape.”


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