House Financial Services Committee Holds Hearing to Discuss Cryptocurrencies, ICOs

March 28, 2018
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Tracker

A subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee held a hearing on March 14, 2018, entitled “Examining the Cryptocurrencies and ICO Markets.” The purpose of the session was to bring together government officials, industry participants, subject-matter experts and other interested parties for a discussion of the cryptocurrency industry and the still-developing regulatory framework surrounding it.

Individuals who participated in the hearing included: Mike Lempres, Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Coinbase; Chris Brummer, Professor at Georgetown University Law Center; Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research at Coin Center; and various members of Congress.

The hearing covered a wide range of areas. Discussion focused on topics such as how the government should regulate cryptocurrencies, the role of cryptocurrencies in today’s world and the use of initial coin offerings, among other things.

Such discourse is particularly important given the continued growth of the cryptocurrency industry as well as some remaining skepticism about the potential and/or net benefit of cryptocurrencies.

Despite the continued haziness of the field, this hearing was seen by many as a sign that the federal government remains willing to learn from and work with the cryptocurrency industry. Such collaboration could help the industry in its continued expansion while at the same time providing maximum certainty about the potential for legal and regulatory liability at a time when the law has not yet caught up with rapid and ongoing technological developments.