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Six crypto CEOs testified before some members of US Congress over regulation, even as Bitcoin, and Ethereum register some gains.
The CEOs from six major crypto firms testified before the US House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, even as Bitcoin (BTC) and some altcoins held steady. At the hearing, the crypto leaders petitioned the lawmakers to provide a favorable regulatory environment. According to them, this would allow their crypto firms, many of which are startups, to blossom and grow unencumbered. The hearing, which saw the CEOs of Coinbase, Circle, and four other crypto platforms, comes as Washington deliberates on how best to effect crypto regulation.
For the most part, the members of Congress at the hearing were welcoming to the crypto CEOs – some even showing curiosity and encouragement. This tone is in stark contrast to what many would have assumed the CEOs would meet at the hearing. However, there was also a divide between the Republicans and Democrats over supervising the $3 trillion crypto industry.
Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat who presided over the committee, sought to know more about digital assets. This also included their perils, potentials, and role to play in reshaping the world of finance. Furthermore, Democrats expressed concern about crypto’s financial risks, while Republicans stressed the importance of innovation and the need for cautious regulation.
Crypto CEOs Try to Sell Lawmakers on the Advantages of Bitcoin and Digital Assets
The crypto executives present demonstrated the need for greater clarity within the space. However, they also criticized the Securities and Exchange Commission’s handling of crypto affairs. Generally, they specified that Washington’s approach to regulating the industry could make or break it. As Charles Cascarilla, CEO and co-founder of blockchain infrastructure firm Paxos Trust Co. put it:
“We need clear standards and the government’s support to create a new, more secure, more competitive financial system. The benefits of getting this right are enormous – but so are the consequences of getting it wrong.”
The crypto leaders also argued that digital asset trading goes beyond expediting financial transactions or reducing their costs. They also stressed that the underlying blockchain technology is an innovation that revolutionizes decentralization. The crypto CEOs cited the concept of Web 3.0 as an example, which grants part ownership of the internet to users.
However, Walters expressed concern about the increasingly rapid adoption of crypto into mainstream affairs, and the general misinformation accompanying it. In part, she ascribed this trend to the growing number of celebrity endorsements. Walters also added that crypto lacked an “overarching regulatory framework” at the federal level.
Furthermore, Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York also questioned the crypto executives’ assertion that digital currencies were radically reshaping commerce and finance. She asked Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle:
“What do you say to the folks that say this doesn’t seem like a new financial system per se but an expansion of the old one?”
Allaire responded by suggesting the digital assets were “a new global economic infrastructure layer.” He also added that there was a need to integrate crypto with traditional financial systems to create a hybrid model.
Generally Bullish Performance from The Markets
Bitcoin moved a little by about 0.5% during the hearing and is now trading at $50,676. Meanwhile, Ethereum (ETH) registered relatively bigger gains (3.33%) and is changing hands at $4,422.
In addition, stocks rose on Wednesday as Omicron fears continued to dissipate. The S&P 500 was up by 0.3% to $4,701, while the NASDAQ registered gains of 0.6% to arrive at $15,786. Lastly, gold rose by 0.9% to $1,783.