December 10, 2021
The top executives from six major cryptocurrency firms testified before Congress, urging for clearer rules but warned against overregulation in the nascent digital asset industry.
Crypto industry leaders formally spoke to American lawmakers for the first time to explain their businesses and make regulatory suggestions during the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.
The six firms and their executives present to testify to Congress were Coinbase Inc. chief executive Alesia Haas, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, FTX Trading CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, Paxos CEO Chad Cascarilla, Stellar Development Foundation CEO Dennelle Dixon and BitFury CEO Brian Brooks.
The panel was chaired by Democratic Representative Maxine Waters.
In addition to establishing clearer, standardized rules and definitions catered to the industry, executives expressed a clear preference against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as the regulatory of cryptocurrencies.
“What happens in the United States is you have a new crypto project and you walk into the SEC and you describe it in great detail and you ask for guidance and they say, ‘We can’t tell you,’ and you list it at your own peril,” said Coinbase’s Haas.
Risk of Overregulation
And while the executives sought regulatory clarity, they also warned of the risk of overregulation pushing crypto businesses outside of the U.S.
“We need clear standards and the government’s support to create a new, more secure, more competitive financial system,” said Paxos’ Cascarilla.
“The benefits of getting this right are enormous — but so are the consequences of getting it wrong.”
While some lawmakers have voiced out concerns about various areas such as market risks from the growing number of speculators, others lauded the industry’s efforts, particularly Republican congressmen.
“I am tremendously impressed. I see a lot of ingenuity, a lot of entrepreneurial spirit,” said Texas Representative Pete Sessions.
“We need to be supportive of you.”