Get Ready for the Showdown: Congress Gears Up for the Joint Crypto Regulation Hearing!

"House Financial Services Committee Continues to Prioritize Crypto in Hearings"

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing today to discuss crypto regulation. The hearing comes after several weeks of similar discussions in Congress, particularly in the House Financial Services Committee. The crypto industry has been calling for regulatory clarity from either a federal regulator or Congress, with hopes that a stablecoin bill would have the greatest chance of success in becoming a law. However, those expectations were dashed during a hearing on stablecoins earlier this month, when Congresswoman Maxine Waters said that the committee needed to “start from scratch.” Despite this setback, lawmakers remain optimistic about the chances of a bill being signed into law over the next year.

The hearing today will feature former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair and current Harvard Research Fellow Timothy Massad, Republic Crypto Head Andrew Durgee, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr Partner Matthew Kulkin, Kraken Chief Legal Officer Marco Santori, and Web3 Foundation Chief Legal Officer Daniel Schoenberger. Massad has proposed that Congress pass a law creating certain principles and standards by which every exchange would have to abide by, regardless of whether the token being listed is a security or a commodity. Doing so, he argued, would negate the need to expand the definition of securities laws or create a new category system for digital assets while still encompassing the entire crypto market. The hearing also features a joint proposed resolution saying Congress must provide further guidance for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission on how to bring existing regulatory protections to the crypto sector.

In other news, a hearing in the ongoing Blockfi bankruptcy case was held, though any ruling has been deferred to Thursday. The French Senate will hold a hearing on influencers in crypto, and a federal court will sentence Ishan Wahi, the former Coinbase employee who pleaded guilty to insider trading charges. Additionally, the House Financial Services and Agriculture Committees will hold their first joint hearing on digital assets, with Chair Patrick McHenry announcing the joint hearings at Consensus last month. Judge Lewis Kaplan of the New York Southern District Bankruptcy Court will make a ruling on certain types of withdrawals and whether they should be allowed in the ongoing Blockfi case.

The crypto industry continues to watch closely as Congress debates regulatory clarity and potential legislation. While the industry has been pushing for federal guidance or legislation, the path forward remains uncertain. However, with lawmakers remaining optimistic about the chances of a bill being signed into law over the next year, the industry will continue to monitor these discussions and hearings closely.

Martin Reid

Martin Reid

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