Crypto chief executives testify on Capitol Hill as US mulls regulation
The chief executives of the biggest firms in the crypto space including Coinbase, FTX and Bitfury have been called to testify before congress.
At a meeting of the US House Committee on digital assets representatives grilled key crypto players on the need for greater regulation and the future of the industry.
The pressure from US legislators comes amid an explosion in the crypto market which has seen its global market cap top $3tn this year, catching the attention of regulators worldwide.
When asked about the future of digital assets Alesia Jeanne Haas, the chief executive of crypto exchange Coinbase said “We’ve seen a lot of innovation in the payments space and in NFTs.
“But this is just the tip. And I think just like back in the early 90s when we were thinking about the internet and we couldn’t envision Uber we don’t know what’s coming and there is so much ahead of us.”
Congressman Al Green, the representative for Texas’ 9th district and chair of sub committee on oversight and investigations, questioned the panel over the “extreme volatility” of crypto assets and the possibility of a “bubble.”
“One thing we need to better in the industry is to focus on to build consumer oriented products which have a lot of information about the challenges and bring the people through from a literacy standpoint,” said Denelle Dixon of the Stellar Development Foundation.
“In the blockchain you have records and immutability that can’t be changed. It allows the opportunity to focus on consumer protection issues,” she added, noting that the transparency of blockchain lends itself to regulation and oversight.
In the US regulation for digital assets is overseen by the Securities and Exchange Committee. The SEC’s chair Gary Gensler has been a galvanising force for bringing crypto firms under regulation.
In November, US President Biden wrote his Infrastructure Bill into law which called for a tax on crypto currency trades, however it left many questions about digital asset regulation unanswered.
Read more: Bank of England: Crypto regulation must be pursued as ‘matter of urgency’