Stablecoin Regulation Is First on New Subcommittee’s To-Do List, Says Chairman

Rep. French Hill said the digital assets subcommittee plans to use its stablecoins draft as a model for how it will approach digital asset regulation moving forward.

AccessTimeIconJan 26, 2023 at 6:14 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 27, 2023 at 7:47 p.m. UTC

Stablecoin legislation will be one of the top priorities for the newly formed U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on digital assets, financial technology and inclusion, Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Thursday.

“That’s a starting point for the committee,” Hill said. “But we want to also pursue … a privacy statute federally, which I think is important to a digital future [and] part of the foundation of moving from an analog financial services environment to a more digital environment.”

Hill, the chairman of the subcommittee, added, "We're also going to do oversight hearings on both the regulators and some of the actions of last year so that we can learn from that ..."

One such action was the "Ugly Baby" bill, a stablecoin bill worked out by then-Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and raking Republican Rep. Patrick Henry (R-N.C.) of the House Financial Services committee.

Stablecoins, which are backed by an asset such as the U.S. dollar or gold, appear to be the most straight-forward, or “low-hanging fruit,” tied to crypto. Hill said the committee’s current draft on stablecoins will serve as a model of how it will approach digital asset regulation.

Who should regulate?

Hill said “that’s not clear yet” when asked whether the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) should be the primary regulator of spot crypto markets. He said that will be something else the subcommittee will sort through this year.

To that end, he said the subcommittee will work with both House and Senate agriculture and banking committees and the House Financial Services Committee.

Hill said the goal of lawmakers on Capitol Hill is to work together to “pick the right direction” that will help “produce innovation” that is beneficial to developers, consumers and investors.

What is critical to the development of crypto in the broader market now is “accurate [and] timely information,” according to Hill, and that depends on developing “definition and expectations,” to better understand what, when and how crypto-related assets are reported.

“If you want to see financial innovation in this space, you're going to have to have accurate information,” Hill said.


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