U.S. Lawmakers Digging Through Crypto Legislation for Bipartisan Winners: Senator

Ideas have been gathered from the Senate and House, and lawmakers are trying to figure out what can get bipartisan support, said Senate Banking Committee member Thom Tillis.

AccessTimeIconMar 15, 2023 at 7:28 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 15, 2023 at 8:40 p.m. UTC

The U.S. Congress is in the very early stages of making legislative progress on crypto oversight, with different ideas being reviewed for how much bipartisan support they can get, said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.).

“We’re going through that mechanical process right now,” Tillis said Wednesday at a Bipartisan Policy Center event in Washington, D.C. He said that “all the ideas coming from various offices” are under that review, with an aim toward finding components that could clear a Congress split between the political parties. Tillis sits on the Senate Banking Committee, which will have a key role in advancing any sort of crypto legislation.

“We’re completing that inventory now and hope to share it over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

A number of bills made progress on Capitol Hill last year, including a stablecoin oversight bill in the House Financial Services Committee and a bill in the Senate Agriculture Committee that would have set up the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a direct regulator of non-securities crypto trading. So far in the new legislative session, none of the earlier efforts have yet regained the traction they had before. Now the lawmakers face pressures from the fallout of the FTX crypto exchange meltdown and the more recent collapse in crypto banking.

A two-party approach “is the only way you’re going to get something done in this Congress,” Tillis said, and the outcome isn’t likely to make either side especially happy. “This is not going to be a crowd pleaser or an applause line.”

Also at the event, Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) agreed that digital assets oversight is going to have to come from bipartisan common ground. Any outcome will be colored by what the lawmakers have seen from the industry in the past several months, especially the implosion of FTX.

“The brand of cryptocurrency took a deep hit,” he said.


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Jesse Hamilton

Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.