The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture heard testimony on June 6 regarding a draft discussion bill on cryptocurrency recently advanced by Republican lawmakers.
Coinbase, Robinhood declare support
Rep. Glenn Thompson, one lawmaker who initially advanced the draft discussion bill, said that the meeting is intended to discuss the bill with Democratic members.
He expressed a desire for a “bipartisan, joint committee legislative proposal.”
Thompson noted that Coinbase faced new regulatory action today as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged the company with violations of securities law. He said that this event is “exactly why” the current hearing is being held and expressed opposition to regulation by enforcement.
Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s CLO, expressed support for the Republican bill in his statement, calling it “a strong step forward in providing overdue regulatory clarity.” He said that Congress must separate digital assets and commodities — something that he said the bill accomplishes 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 necessarily regulatory clarity” and said that Robinhood “generally supports” the goals of the draft bill.
CFTC chairman expresses limited support
Rostin Benham, chairman of the Commodities and Futures Trade Commission (CFTC), said he is “encouraged” by efforts to close the regulatory gap.
However, he said 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.
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