US Congress to Discuss ICOs in Hearing Next Week

Stan Higgins
Mar 8, 2018 at 21:36 UTC  |  Updated  Mar 9, 2018 at 21:56 UTC

UPDATE (9th March 5 p.m. EST): The House Financial Services Committee has published a memorandum and list of witnesses for next week's ICO and cryptocurrencies hearing.

The witness set to appear are:

  • Chris Brummer, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
  • Mike Lempres, Chief Legal and Risk Officer, Coinbase
  • Robert Rosenblum, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research, Coin Center

Here's what the committee is saying ahead of the hearing, which will be held by the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment:

"The Subcommittee will conduct an overview of the cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering (ICO) markets. These markets have been growing rapidly, attracting significant attention from investors and start-up enterprises in search of capital. The hearing will examine the economic efficiencies and potential capital formation opportunities that cryptocurrencies and ICOs potentially offer to businesses and investors, and review the adherence to applicable laws so that investors receive the full protections afforded by the federal securities laws. Additionally, the hearing will consider the current regulatory approach that regulators, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, are using to monitor and oversee cryptocurrencies and ICOs and how to achieve further regulatory clarity in these markets."

A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee is set to hold a hearing next week on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

A notice posted on the committee's website states that the Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee hearing - entitled "Examining the Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets" - is scheduled for March 14 at 10 a.m. EST.

Speaking to CoinDesk on the sidelines of this week's DC Blockchain Summit, U.S. Representative Tom Emmer - a member of the subcommittee - suggested that the hearing would largely be educational in nature, aimed at providing members with more information about the market for cryptocurrencies and token sales.

He also indicated that, amongst Financial Services Committee members, there's a growing interest in learning more about the subject and the implications of the tech's use in areas like remittances.

The hearing represents the latest Congressional foray into the world of cryptocurrencies, coming more than a month after the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs held a major hearing on the topic that included testimony from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. At that hearing, the two notably indicated that their respective agencies could ultimately seek additional oversight powers over the market.

Capitol Hill image via Shutterstock

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