US House Hearing on Stablecoins and Crypto Reveals Sharp Divide on Approach to Regulation

Nellie Liang. Source: video screenshot, U.S. House Committee on Financial Services / YouTube

 

A listening to on stablecoin regulation within the US House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee yesterday revealed strongly diverging views on each stablecoins and crypto extra broadly amongst lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“For each conventional and digital-native intermediaries, it’s vital to be certain that regulatory frameworks are in place that appropriately tackle dangers to companies, customers, and traders, in addition to the broader monetary system,” Undersecretary for Domestic Finance on the US Treasury Department, Nellie Liang, mentioned in her testimony in the course of the listening to.

The listening to, titled Digital Assets and the Future of Finance, comes within the wake of the President’s Working Group (PWG) report on stablecoins from late final yr. The report was criticized closely by members of the crypto group for what some referred to as “fear-mongering” over perceived dangers in stablecoins.

During this newest listening to, Undersecretary Liang, who was the one witness to testify, underscored the necessity to convey extra oversight to stablecoin issuers, in addition to to tackle dangers posed by leverage within the stablecoin sector.

“As we noticed within the 2007-2008 monetary disaster (and most that preceded it), leverage can play a key position in catalyzing and accelerating monetary instability,” Liang mentioned, amongst different issues.

During a question-and-answer session following Liang’s testimony, questions from lawmakers revealed a divide between Democratic and Republican representatives. Generally, the Democrats had been extra involved with client safety and the necessity to regulate stablecoin issuers, whereas some Republicans favored an strategy the place laws to a bigger extent could be left to particular person states.

There isn’t any federal legislation at the moment to tackle digital property, Republican consultant Patrick McHenry mentioned in his remarks, earlier than including that “practically 1 / 4 of American adults at the moment are invested in crypto.”

“We should transfer shortly to put in place a framework that clearly defines the principles of the highway,” the Republican congressman added.

McHenry went on to ask if any state regulators had been consulted because the report was labored on, and requested why none of those states had been talked about within the report.

“There isn’t any point out of any state regulatory framework. We know that New York is probably the most lively, and they’ve a really strong and protected set of laws […] however there’s no point out of New York,” McHenry mentioned, earlier than concluding that the explanation seems to be that the Biden administration desires to have “a single regulator on the federal stage.”

‘Sherman’s burger drawback’

Meanwhile, Democratic Representative Brad Sherman – well-known as a critic of crypto – was additionally among the many most important throughout yesterday’s listening to, saying “we’re informed to take a look at the advantages of those digital programs, nevertheless it’s actually only a potential or hope for a profit.”

The consultant then went on to discuss at size about how he would really like “a extra environment friendly method to purchase a burger,” and that the issue is that he “can’t discover a burger right here in Washington DC” that may be bought with crypto.

“Currently, if I would like to purchase a burger with a stablecoin or a crypto coin, I’ve to discover an Uber, get them to drive me to the one burger stand that’s rumoured to exist in Cleveland, Ohio the place you need to use a stablecoin or a crypto coin to purchase a burger,” Congressman Sherman mentioned.

Sherman first grew to become a recognized determine within the crypto group after he proposed a ban on cryptoasset purchases within the United States in 2019. The Congressman adopted up with extra sarcastic remarks on crypto throughout a listening to in December final yr, when he advised that “bitcoin might be displaced by ether” and varied obscure altcoins he referred to as “hamster coin” and “mongoose coin.”

Also extremely vital in direction of the business was the Democratic Congressman Al Green, who advised that cryptos such dogecoin (DOGE) are “nothing” since they’ve “no fiat foreign money related to them.”

“We simply can’t enable folks to put money into nothing,” the Congressman mentioned.

Meanwhile, requested by the Democratic Representative Adam Scott what it’s that stablecoins can supply Americans who’re “missing primary entry to banking companies,” Undersecretary Liang mentioned that she believes stablecoins have the potential to “promote monetary inclusion” by making funds “quicker and cheaper.”

Lastly, Republican Representative Tom Emmer, who is named a pro-crypto Congressman, mentioned stablecoins “clearly supply financial advantages that can not be ignored.” He added that the transparency offered by public blockchains implies that “many view stablecoins as much less dangerous than the closely regulated cost rails of our present banking system.”

On that notice, Emmer criticized the report from the President’s Working Group for being overly targeted on the perceived dangers of stablecoins, and much less on the alternatives the brand new expertise offers.

The stablecoin report, which was compiled by the Treasury Department and different monetary regulators within the US, is a part of a broader authorities effort to regulate digital property, Liang mentioned in the course of the listening to. She added that she expects the White House to supply extra particulars on an administration-wide technique in a couple of weeks.

Watch your entire listening to beneath:

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Learn extra:
– US Regulator Calls For Stablecoin Bank Regulation, Coordinated Regulatory Approach To Crypto
– US Fed Chair’s Top 3 Crypto-Related Comments in Front of Senate Banking Committee

– SEC’s Gensler Wants Crypto Exchanges, Lending Platforms to ‘Come and Work with’ Regulators
– Reports That IRS Won’t Tax Staking Rewards Create Legal Confusion in US; UK Taxman Updates Its Own Guidance

– Ex-FinCEN Officials Urge Calm After US Treasury’s ‘Unhosted Wallet’ Regulation Proposal Returns
– US Community on Alert over Draft Law that Could Give Treasury Sweeping Powers over Crypto


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