In the ongoing DC Blockchain Summit, French Hill, a Republican lawmaker, slammed the US Congress regarding cryptocurrency regulations. He said that Congress needs to get its “act together” to regulate crypto.
Hill has also been appointed as the chair of a newly formed digital asset-focussed House Financial Services Subcommittee. In his appearance at the summit, the Republican lawmaker said that if Congress doesn’t immediately take steps in the right direction, a crisis is bound to occur.
Explaining his statement, Hill added that the crypto businesses which wish to settle in the US would be forced to shift. Additionally, he pointed out that the regulating agencies and their stringent approach would be responsible for this.
We all have a front-row seat to what happens in Congress if we don’t get our act together. Businesses will leave the U.S. to go elsewhere while the agencies are taking major steps to crack down on the crypto blockchain digital asset industry.
Furthermore, Hill criticized the enforcement-related approach and said that Congress should first pursue legislation instead of being “replaced by enforcement actions or regulatory guidance from the regulatory agencies.”
However, the lawmaker didn’t name any particular agency or regulator, in recent times, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and particularly the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been busy this year bringing enforcement actions against crypto firms and individuals.
As reported by Todayq News, the SEC brought a record number of crypto-related enforcement actions last year, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down this year. The SEC moved against crypto exchange Kraken over its staking services and also charged Paxos over selling unregistered security.
Addressing the much-echoed stablecoin regulation, Hill said that “Congress is at a crossroads, and the first step is to pick up on stablecoin legislation.” In the last Congress, Patrick McHenry, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, along with former Chair Maxine Waters, worked behind the scenes to figure out a deal on how to regulate stablecoins.
Reportedly, that draft legislation included creating a federal framework around stablecoins and temporarily banning the types of payment coins that are not backed by outside assets. However, the bill came to a standstill as McHenry blamed the Treasury Department for holding up the talks. Now, Hill wants the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to be “constructive partners” in the plans for stablecoins.
In 2021, the Treasury Department, along with other agencies, released a stablecoin report. While Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary, said then that stablecoins have the potential to “support beneficial payment options,” she also acknowledged that a lack of oversight adds risks to people and the broader system. Hill concluded by saying:
We need House and Senate Democrats to work with us because that in turn will perhaps have a good stable working relationship with the Biden administration. The Treasury and the Fed were constructive partners in our stablecoin work last year and we want that to continue.
The DC Blockchain Summit is witnessing lawmakers and regulators extensively talk about crypto regulation. On Tuesday, Summer Mersinger, CFTC commissioner at the summit highlighted the importance of interference from Congress to ensure cooperation with the CFTC when drafting crypto legislation. Alongside Mersinger was Kristin Johnson, a fellow commissioner at the CFTC, who had similar opinions on the subject.