Blockchain leaders seek refuge in Friendly House hearing as US regulators crack down on crypto

Blockchain leaders seek refuge in Friendly House hearing as US regulators crack down on crypto


Blockchain industry leaders are addressing the US House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, telling the Republican-dominated panel that the sector should be allowed to flourish even as federal agencies and the White House implement a crackdown on major digital asset players. .

Prepared remarks for a hearing on “securing US leadership in blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies” attempt to portray the industry as a positive force, albeit one that needs better regulation from Washington than it currently has.

Citing an Electric Capital report that the U.S. will gain four million blockchain-related jobs by 2030, president of Ethereum scaling startup PolygonMATIC Labs, Ryan Wyatt, argues that far from a threat, blockchain is good for America even as new consumer protections promise regarding the technology still proves necessary. Wyatt’s planned testimony says policymakers and industry participants must “come together with a determination to develop regulations that properly address the realities of this technological innovation and protect consumers and the American markets.”

Prepared remarks from Ross Schulman, senior fellow for decentralization for privacy non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that while “blockchains facilitate transparency” and could potentially be used in “legal proceedings where the chain of custody is of the essence,” they have counterintuitively improved Americans’ privacy by leading to breakthroughs in cryptography that allow individuals to prove that information about them is true without revealing other private details.

Schulman added, “The two biggest things Congress could do to protect Americans from blockchain-related harm would be to pass consumer-driven comprehensive privacy legislation and to adequately fund the FTC. [Federal Trade Commission] so that it can employ the technical and legal experts it needs to investigate and prosecute these damages.”

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Leaders of the House panel said in an announcement about the hearing that if America relinquishes leadership in blockchain and other “emerging technologies,” that “countries like China will set the rules for more control, continue to suppress freedom, and beat us in the global economy .” Those comments were signed by Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who chairs the committee, and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Innovation, Data and Commerce.

The Republican senators are backing blockchain applications as regulators nominated by President Joe Biden have cracked down on what they describe as the risks of trading unregulated securities. Just this week, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued the largest exchange in the world, Binance, and its top American rival, Coinbase, for failing to comply with existing regulatory requirements. In March, Biden proposed a 30% tax on electricity used to mine cryptocurrency.

The hearing will take place today from 10.00. Other speakers include Carla L. Reyes, associate professor of law at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law and Hasshi Sudler, CEO of science research firm Internet Think Tank and professor at Villanova University College of Engineering.

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