The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture recently held a meeting to discuss a draft discussion bill on cryptocurrency, which was advanced by Republican lawmakers. The meeting was intended to discuss the bill with Democratic members, and the goal was to create a bipartisan, joint committee legislative proposal.
Testimony from Industry Leaders
During the meeting, industry leaders provided testimony on the draft bill. One of the lawmakers who initially advanced the bill, Glenn Thompson, noted that Coinbase had faced new regulatory action from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the same day as the meeting. He expressed opposition to regulation by enforcement and stated that the current hearing is being held to prevent this.
Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s CLO, expressed support for the Republican bill in his statement. He called it “a strong step forward in providing overdue regulatory clarity” and said that Congress must separate digital assets and commodities. He believes that the draft bill accomplishes this by drawing on previous regulations, discussions, and findings.
Dan Gallagher, Robinhood’s Chief Legal Compliance and Corporate Affairs Officer, also testified. He called the draft bill “an important step in providing necessary regulatory clarity” and said that Robinhood “generally supports” the goals of the draft bill.
Concerns Over Regulation
Rostin Benham, chairman of the Commodities and Futures Trade Commission (CFTC), expressed concerns over sudden changes to regulation. He believes that the digital commodity market should be protected by “time-tested regulation” and that new legislation must not “undermine existing laws.” He specifically said that the CFTC should receive certain powers and greater assurance of funding.
Several other former CFTC members also testified alongside Benham. They expressed greater support for change, with ex-CFTC commissioner Dan Berkovitz noting an “urgent need to close [the] gap” between the SEC and CFTC.
Despite Benham’s concerns over sudden changes to regulation, the draft bill would give the CFTC significant power in its current form. The meeting was an important step in providing necessary regulatory clarity for the digital commodity market. The goal is to create a bipartisan, joint committee legislative proposal that separates digital assets and commodities and protects the market with time-tested regulation.