House Republicans move to regulate crypto industry with a new subcommittee

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  • Republican lawmakers announced the subcommittee on digital assets, financial technology and inclusion under the House Financial Services Committee late Thursday.
  • French Hill of Arkansas will chair the group.
  • Crypto regulation and industry oversight have become important issues in the wake of the multibillion-dollar collapse of FTX in November.

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Republican lawmakers late Thursday announced the launch of a new subcommittee that will oversee the crypto and fintech industries, the first of its kind in the US. troubled times for digital currencies.

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French Hill of Arkansas will chair the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion, which will be part of the House Financial Services Committee.

Hill, who was also appointed vice-chairman of the wider committee, said in a Statement that “a bipartisan effort is needed for fintech innovation to flourish safely and effectively in the United States.”

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The unregulated nature of the crypto industry emerged as a pressing concern late last year following the November collapse of crypto exchange FTX. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested last month on fraud charges and has been released on $250 million bond while awaiting trial.

Hill has been an avid supporter of the crypto industry. In 2021, he co-sponsored the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Study Act and said those days “It is important for the Federal Reserve not to delay its important work” on potential CBDCs.

In 2019, before FTX became a household name, Hill signed a letter urging the IRS to refine its tax guidance for cryptocurrency users.

“Opacity hinders proper tax compliance,” read the letter.

Other Republican crypto advocates in Congress include Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota and Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming.

Although Bankman-Fried was operating out of the Bahamas, he was a skilled Washington operative, building relationships with heavyweights such as Rep. Maxine Waters, (D-Calif.) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rostin Benham. In the 2022 midterm race, Bankman-Fried made nearly $40 million in publicly announced contributions, mostly to Democrats. He and his allies donated to politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Federal regulators have alleged that Bankman-Fried committed criminal campaign finance violations, committing an $8 billion fraud.

The collapse of FTX and the subsequent indictment of Bankman-Fried has provided Republicans like Emmer with ample fodder to criticize the regulators’ work. Emmer described the actions taken by Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler as follows:disorganized and unfocused,

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, have already started prepare own efforts To oversee the crypto industry and determine enforcement actions.

The SEC has increased its level of activity since the FTX bankruptcy. The commission accused crypto lender Genesis and crypto exchange Gemini of unregistered sales and offers of securities on Thursday, the day Hill announced the subcommittee.

watch: Bitcoin Reaches $19,000, SEC Accuses Gemini and Genesis


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