Just as the world recovers from the financial guaging of top fintech firms – and nuclear families – three Republican lawmakers have finally stepped up to launch a new subcommittee to oversee all US based crypto and fintech industries.
Chairing the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion will be French Hill of Arkansas – who’s also vice chair of the broader committee.
“At a time of major technological advancement and change in the financial sector, it is our job to work across the aisle and promote responsible innovation while encouraging FinTech innovation to flourish safely and effectively in the United States.” Hill said in a recent statement.
That same day, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged crypto lender Genesis and exchange Gemini with the unregistered sale and offering of securities.
Lack of regulation in the crypto industry has been major concern for at least a decade. But in the wake of 2022’s major finanical disasters, federal hands have been forced to respond substantively. November, last year, saw the biggest collapse of a corporation in American history, with the notorious crypto exchange, FTX, losing $32 billion in a matter of weeks. With Terra Luna’s collapse near the top of 2022, and hedge fund Three Arrows filing for bankcruptcy, it is estimated that a whopping $1.5 trillion was gauged from the global crypto market.
Still, Hill remains an enthusiatic supporter of the crypto industry. Well… if one can count support of a Federal Reserve Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) as enthusiatic support of the industry.
Back in 2019, Hill had signed a letter that urged the IRS to refine its tax regulations for cryptocurrency users. “Ambiguity impedes appropriate tax compliance,” the letter read.
Operating out of The Bahamas, Sam Bankman-Fried forged relationships with Washington heavyweights like Rep. Maxine Waters and Rostin Benham, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. During the 2022 midterms, he donated $40 million in publicly disclosed contributions to politicians on both sides of the aisle.
Republicans found themselves with a lot more ammunition, criticizing the prior effors of regulators. Emmer described the SEC’s actions – namely Chair Gary Gensler – as “haphazard and unfocused.”
All the while, Democrat Senators prepare their own oversite committees for the crypto industry.