U.S. Senate Banking Committee Looks For Regulatory Clarity In “Crypto Cash” Hearing

Senate Banking Committee

In a Valentine’s Day scheduled hearing, skeptical members of the Senate Banking Committee are hearing both crypto enthusiasts and evangelists to understand the recent “crypto crash” while advocating new, more stringent regulatory safeguards to protect consumers in the United States. This comes after a string of failures that plagued the cryptocurrency industry over the course of the past year, starting with the FTX debacle.

Senators Concerned About Crypto Crash

The hearing takes place at a crucial juncture for the cryptocurrency market, which currently faces a series of scandals, fraud, dramatic arrests, international manhunts, hacks, exploits, obtrusive marketing and even age-old embezzlement strategies. In many instances, major financial authorities such as the SEC, NYDFS & Justice Department have barged into crypto firms to either penalize them or outright ceasing them to operate.

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Ranking Member Tim Scott opened the hearing by saying the committee needed to hear from the SEC Chair Gary Gensler directly in order to understand the recent regulatory actions undertaken by the financial watchdog; hinting at the charges levied against Kraken and Paxos. The committee’s chairman, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), reiterated the worries that governments and central banks expressed ten years ago: cryptocurrency can be used for illegal operations like drug trafficking and human trafficking, and can result in fraudulent behavior.

Brown in his opening remarks was quoted as saying:

Contrary to crypto evangelists’ claims of democratizing finance, it’s not the early adopters are the big money investors left holding the bag when it comes to crypto.

“It turns out fortune doesn’t favor the brave. It favors wealthy insiders. It’s not just about a few bad actors that didn’t do things quite the right way. These crypto catastrophes have exposed what many of us already knew about digital assets, cryptocurrency, and stablecoins.”, Brown added.

Questions Raised Against SEC

In order to protect savers and investors, government officials conducted an investigation with the assistance of three witnesses to evaluate the requirements and advantages of establishing a regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency business.

However, not everyone was persuaded that imposing extra crypto regulations is the best way to address the problems facing the cryptocurrency business. Senator Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), said that federal authorities already held the power to clamp down on a corporation such as FTX.

He stated that even though the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) previously noted that cryptocurrency firms are required to comply with existing regulations, emphasizing the fact that it’s also the responsibility of regulators to “enforce existing regulations and to conduct appropriate, effective supervision.”

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Pratik Bhuyan