Monday, December 5, 2022

Early Highlights from Senate Banking Cryptocurrency Hearing

Early Highlights from Senate Banking Cryptocurrency Hearing

Bullish warmth is coming back into the hearts of cryptocurrency traders as America’s two top financial regulators immediately staked out their qualified openness to cryptocurrencies in the U.S. Senate’s first official hearing on virtual currencies. 

Also read: Coinbase Nears Completion of SegWit Sends/Receives

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Two Highlights So Far

With much ado, the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs kicked off the American government’s highest profile foray into the cryptoverse yet with the beginning of its February 6th, 10 AM EST hearing on cryptocurrencies.

And while the hearing is still ongoing at press time, there were two major highlights within the event’s first few minutes — one from Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton’s introduction and one from Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo.

Both men, however, went off the cuff at times from their prepared remarks. And that’s where the earliest highlights came.

Clayton: All ICOs Are Securities

Clayton’s pre-released February 5th introduction was fair and even-keeled, remarking on the potential for blockchain and cryptocurrencies to optimize the world of finance. So, too, did he mention in that preliminary document that most Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) meet his criteria for being a security.

Accordingly, the first head-turner during the Senate hearing came as Clayton departed from that diplomatic phrasing in his live introduction. How?

By declaring that, in his view, all ICOs he’s looked at qualify as being securities under U.S. federal law. As such, that’s a noteworthy hop from “most” to “all.” It doesn’t signal a crackdown, except on the most egregious and flaunting of actors.

But Clayton’s comment here does suggest that coin offering projects in the United States will need to apply as securities. Clayton noted the SEC would be powerless, even uninterested, in regulating foreign-based ICOs.

For Giancarlo, It’s Personal

CFTC Chairman Giancarlo started out his comments by asking if he could take a moment to talk from the perspective of being a father. He said that he and his wife have been trying to get their three older teenage children to be interested in the world of finance for years.

Giancarlo opened small brokerage accounts for each of his children, but their interest never caught on.

Giancarlo pictured.

But the Chairman said a lightbulb flipped in 2017 when his kids got bit by the bitcoin bug. He said their passion for cryptocurrencies exploded, and he’s watched tenderly from the sidelines, fascinated by the potential of the blockchain tech that Millennials are currently adopting in droves.

With all that said, Giancarlo said his desired regulatory purview would be on projects that are trying to take advantage of sincere cryptocurrency investors like his children, ones not making actual legitimate products

All very interesting, to say the least. Bitsonline will keep you posted on any further bits of intrigue.

What’s your take? Are you listening, or did you listen, to the hearing? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Politico, WSJ

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