Hearings on virtual currencies scheduled for October 31 and November 7.
This story was published on November 3, 2018.
“Do you have any questions for Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss?”
A congressional committee will discuss bitcoin this week, in a groundbreaking hearing.
The Congressional Blockchain Caucus has scheduled two hearings to discuss whether the cryptocurrency and digital-asset markets are currently regulated and protected.
In October, its chairman, Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, said he will hold the hearings on Monday and Tuesday in Washington DC, according to the DC cryptocurrency and blockchain news website CryptoBrex.
The hearings, whose duration has not been confirmed, will feature speakers including Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss’ brother; Tavis McCourt, the co-founder of digital asset exchange Coinbase; David Glazer, a former Treasury official; and Terry O’Neill, the head of cryptocurrency at Credit Suisse Group AG.
Questions will focus on regulation, O’Neill, speaking at a “blockchain workshops” in August, told New York’s Investing in Digital Assets conference.
“Any new finance technology, when it comes out, it’s different,” O’Neill said. “What is the regulated product? We want to make sure it’s something that Wall Street understands.”
The congressional hearings on digital currencies, Raskin said in August, will be the first of their kind.
The hearings are the latest in a wave of high-profile blockchain events in 2018, including the New York state attorney general’s bitcoin initiative and a pullout by Bitcoin.com’s CEO from cryptocurrency exchange Kraken Exchange.
Last month, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. announced the development of a block chain-based ledger to help boost the efficiency of financial markets.
Cryptocurrencies surged in 2018, after plunging in the beginning of the year. While most exchanges have seen decreased investor interest in recent months, prices are up three-fold to $7,500, from about $1,000 at the beginning of the year.
Jesse Draper, of the start-up investing show, The Valley Girl Show, told the Guardian on Thursday that bitcoin’s price movements would likely be attributed to regulatory scrutiny.
A member of the blockchain caucus, Raskin sits on the oversight committees of both the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.
“We don’t regulate banks or online marketplaces because they are not financial institutions,” he said. “The same should apply to crypto.”
Cameron Winklevoss said in an August interview on CoinDesk that the ongoing cryptocurrency market research and regulation needs to be in place “to protect consumers, and ensure that the real stakeholders benefit from the technology”.
He echoed Raskin, in a July interview with US weekly The Economist, saying he is “not comfortable with the idea that bitcoin is not a currency, that it’s an asset, that it’s not a stable, independent currency”.
Reuters contributed to this report.