Lawmakers Renew Calls for US to Lead on Crypto Innovation

Following a U.S. Congressional hearing on cryptocurrency and blockchain, three lawmakers are renewing calls for the government to embrace innovation.

AccessTimeIconFeb 21, 2018 at 6:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:35 a.m. UTC
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"Cryptocurrency networks are much more than alternatives to the dollar or payment mechanisms."

That was the message delivered to the heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Wednesday by three lawmakers and members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus (CBC), a bipartisan group launched last year in a bid to support the technology and its interests on Capitol Hill.

Penned by Jared Polis (D.-CO), Tom Emmer (R.-MN) and David Schweikert (R.-CA), the letter does much to repeat the CBC's past public statements, but notably comes weeks after both agency heads testified on cryptocurrencies, explaining to the U.S. Congress what they saw as their potential amid what was then a tremendous spike in their market valuations.

In this way, the letter encouraged SEC chair Jay Clayton and CFTC chair J. Christopher Giancarlo to follow through on efforts to collaborate with the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve on legislative actions. The signatories went on to thank the regulators for their testimony, while also advising they maintain a "light touch" in their effort.

The letter said:

"The U.S. should be the home to this innovation, and should embrace these new technologies. In order for these efforts to be successful, it is imperative that we adopt a deliberate, flexible and unified approach to regulation."

Additional dialogue was given to the question of token sales and initial coin offerings (ICOs), or funding mechanisms that rely on the use of custom cryptocurrencies.

Going forward, new proposed regulation or legislation should be "narrowly tailored," the letter said, so as to balance consumer protection with the need for experimentation and domestic job creation.

Additional steps, it stated, should be taken "to avoid unnecessary concern and uncertainty," concluding:

"We encourage you to allow continued innovation in the market, and devote more creative analysis into the ways cryptocurrencies can be utilized."

Read the full letter below:

Capitol building image via Shutterstock

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