U.S. Lawmaker at Center of Crypto Negotiation Predicts Digital Assets Law by Next Year

Rep. Patrick McHenry – the chief GOP negotiator on crypto legislation – said future policy is now assured by a major bipartisan showing for his effort in the House of Representatives.

AccessTimeIconMay 29, 2024 at 10:55 p.m. UTC
Updated May 29, 2024 at 11:04 p.m. UTC
  • Patrick McHenry, the retiring chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said he's confident that his crypto legacy will become permanent policy by 2025.
  • The so-called FIT21 crypto bill is now a "consensus product" of the House and can't be ignored, he said.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) vowed the crypto industry won't have long to wait to get U.S. regulations, now that the U.S. House of Representatives has shown the way.

"We will have crypto law within the next year, and I can say that with certainty," McHenry, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee told an audience Wednesday at CoinDesk's Consensus 2024. "Crypto policy is inevitable, and crypto law is inevitable."

McHenry, who has been wrangling the crypto legislation in the House, argued that the outcome is assured by the massive level of bipartisan backing last week for his Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) – with more than a third of House Democrats showing up to vote yes, despite pushback from the White House. He said the momentum will carry into the next congressional session in 2025, if it has to, and will lift the market-structure bill and the long-awaited legislation to regulate stablecoin issuers.

"We basically have a consensus product out of the House of Representatives," McHenry said. "That's a huge thing that we have to take advantage of and leverage it into law."

Meanwhile, the prominent House lawmaker, who is retiring from Congress at the end of the year, said he'll keep trying to find a way to keep the legislation alive this year. While granting that "the Senate's a more complicated beast," he said he'll be trying to find some way to get the bill over the finish line and to President Joe Biden's desk before he leaves Congress.

When asked whether he had a specific must-pass bill to tie it to, he said, "anything and everything – that's what I'm looking for."

Earlier in the day at Consensus, a senior member of his Republican caucus, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), suggested that crypto legislation has its best chance of success toward the end of this year, when Congress is transitioning out of this session and toward the next – known as the lame-duck session.

McHenry's 2025 promise may be tempered somewhat by the fact that he'd said something similar at the same Consensus event a year earlier, but he explained Wednesday that he had no way of predicting the chaos of the House Republicans' leadership battles that left him as the stand-in speaker for a short time and effectively stalled legislative progress.

While U.S. lawmakers and crypto executives were meeting at Consensus in Austin, Texas, to speak about current events in crypto – often criticizing the approach of SEC Chair Gary Gensler – the regulator posted a fresh alert on Wednesday warning of crypto scams.

"Fraudsters often use innovations and new technologies to perpetrate investment scams, and this has been the case with crypto asset securities-related investments," the agency said in its newest alert.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Jesse Hamilton

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