In a rare confluence of the U.S. House’s key cryptocurrency committees, the question of new digital asset legislation spurred intense debate, pitting the urgency of regulatory measures against concerns over potential leniency.
In a distinctive joint gathering of the U.S. House of Representatives’ most influential committees on cryptocurrency – the House Financial Services Committee and the House Agriculture Committee – lawmakers convened to deliberate over the optimal strategy for digital asset legislation.
However, one top democrat questioned the need for new laws altogether.
The assembly was called urgently on May 10 due to the glaring gap in governmental oversight of the cryptocurrency sector, currently undergoing a period of considerable upheaval. The attendees of this meeting comprised republican chairs, leading democrats of the committees, as well as subcommittees handling the matter.
Notably among them was rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), a high-ranking democrat on the digital assets subcommittee, who voiced his reservations about the introduction of new legislation.
Lynch cautioned that the establishment of a new law might be seen as a soft stance, potentially encouraging other sectors to shift their financial products into the digital asset sphere. Instead, he advocated for the application of the pre-existing regulatory system, dismissing the idea of crafting a separate regulatory regime through legislation.
In stark contrast, rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, affirmed that their mission was to “make law”.
This view was backed by his democratic colleague, rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who stressed the importance of swiftly returning to the process of cooperative legislation crafting.
Lynch’s perspective resonates with SEC Chair Gary Gensler‘s recurrent assertion that the existing securities law provides his agency with adequate authority to regulate the crypto industry.
Lynch further condemned the crypto industry, alleging its “majority has failed” and underscored the SEC’s duty to safeguard investors. He pointed out that the issue is not a lack of regulatory clarity but rather a prevailing trend of non-compliance in the industry.