US Congress Debates ICOs, Cryptocurrency Regulation

Thus said Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) as he adjourned Wednesday’s US House Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee hearing, which was devoted to discussing cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and whether the current regulatory framework adequately protects investors. Huizenga was speaking to a group of academics and cryptocurrency industry representatives who had testified before the subcommittee, largely arguing that regulators need to clarify the legal status of cryptoassets to help entrepreneurs innovate while remaining compliant with federal rules.

As was the case in a recent Senate hearing on cryptocurrency regulation, lawmakers conveyed varying opinions about the value of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Some committee members harped on cryptocurrency’s alleged association with terrorism. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), for instance, called cryptocurrencies a “crock” and expressed doubt that they can be used to accomplish any social good that cannot be achieved otherwise.


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