The United States House of Representatives finally elected a Speaker last week, in a very drawn-out process that highlighted the political stalemate. Despite this, representatives of both chambers support crypto regulation, which could lead to crypto legislation in 2023.
Cointelegraph drew attention to the fact that both Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have been calling for crypto reform lately. Analyst firm Chainalysis recently submitted about 20 bills to Congress that could affect cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. The House Committee on Financial Services alone has a pro-crypto incoming chairman, Republican Patrick McHenry, along with crypto-friendly Democrats like Representative Ritchie Torres and Maxine Waters.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Torres said he sees counter flows that could disrupt legislation: The political far right could thwart any crypto initiatives as a matter of principle — they oppose all regulation — while the far left may also want to keep digital assets unregulated in order to delegitimize and ultimately kill them. Crypto legislation, in the eyes of this group, would be equivalent to acceptance of the emerging industry.
Torres, for his part, believes that legislative action is critical. “Congress has an obligation to intervene,” he told Cointelegraph, as digital assets are too volatile to remain unregulated. SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s two-year efforts to bring cryptocurrencies and stablecoins under federal oversight through regulatory action alone haven’t succeeded, he said. It’s become clear, especially in light of the FTX fiasco, that more durable legislative solutions are required.
“We are optimistic that given broad bipartisan support by lawmakers, a comprehensive bill could make it to the president’s desk this Congress,” Brett Quick, the council’s head of government affairs, told Cointelegraph. There will be challenges, but “crypto may be one of the few areas where there is enough broad bipartisan support from all points on the political spectrum that moving legislation this Congress is a reasonable expectation,” added Quick.
Clark Flynt-Barr, senior policy adviser at Chainalysis, like Torres and Quick, applauds the bipartisan collaboration that has emerged around crypto in the past year. She cited the House's Waters-McHenry stablecoin bill alongside the U.S. Senate's bipartisan Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act. Flynt-Barr expects this sort of cooperation to increase, especially in light of recent industry events like the FTX collapse, telling Cointelegraph: “Crises and scandals — and now fraud — often give more momentum to reforms and regulations that might not otherwise be the top priority.”
New laws will be needed both to protect consumers and to allow the crypto industry to continue to innovate, in the view of US Senator Cynthia Lummis, whose proposed legislation aims “to bring digital assets within the regulatory perimeter.”
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Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.