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US House Committees Plan to Oversee Crypto Sector with New Legislation

The US House Financial Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee have announced plans to develop legislation to oversee the cryptocurrency sector. According to Rep. Patrick McHenry (R–N.C.), who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, the committees will hold joint public hearings starting in May and plan to introduce the legislation in the next two months. The bill is expected to address both securities and commodities regimes, as well as other issues that are difficult to fix on either side.

Although there have been several bills addressing cryptocurrency regulation in the past year, the US Congress has yet to pass comprehensive legislation on the matter. However, lawmakers are under increasing pressure to take action following recent incidents in the industry, including the meltdown of the FTX crypto exchange and the collapse of crypto banking.

During a session at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2023 event, Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) also expressed her support for coordinating efforts with McHenry to address the issue. Lummis introduced the bipartisan “Responsible Financial Innovation Act” with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) last year, aimed at creating a regulatory framework for the industry. She also mentioned that a new-and-improved version of the bill will be unveiled in the next few weeks.

The legislation comes amid growing concern that the US is falling behind other major jurisdictions in regulating the crypto space. The European Union recently introduced the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law, making it the first major jurisdiction to introduce comprehensive crypto regulation. Regulators in Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, and the UK are also revisiting their approach to the sector.

McHenry and Lummis emphasized the importance of taking a bipartisan approach to the legislation, with Lummis calling it a “bipartisan subject we need to address before the 2024 election.” However, McHenry also acknowledged that it can be challenging to legislate something new into existence and provide certainty in a constantly evolving industry. Despite this, he stressed the need for Congress to provide clarity and guidance in order to fix the problems facing the crypto industry.


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