Cryptocurrency CEOs of Hether Up have pledged to continue the fight for their crypto-currency policies, despite a landmark hearing earlier this week in which key members of Congress expressed confusion and their reservations about crypto-currencies and regulation.
While some notably vocal lawmakers, like Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), have looked toward rules to prevent securities fraud for crypto-currency-holders and consumers and issued statements welcoming new government oversight of the industry, the regulation of the cryptocurrency assets themselves is not on the agenda.
However, other lawmakers, including Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, have said it was about time to regulate crypto-currencies and called for a thorough examination of the area. The committee was holding a hearing Wednesday on cryptocurrency regulation issues.
On Wednesday, leading digital currency figures — Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, NEX CEO Jonathan Choi, Secret and Hashadoo CEO Lynn Juric and Veep and Founder of Cryptocurrency Labs David Tran — gave a series of speeches to a packed room that included Washington metro business leaders, local politicians and cryptocurrency advocates. In the main session of the hearing, Platypus Ventures CEO, Edward Kim, gave a lengthy overview of what cryptocurrencies could achieve, as well as what needs to be changed and why he sees the place of cryptocurrencies as a “natural progression” of the technology it represents.
The testimony came amid heightened media scrutiny about the use of crypto-currencies, and following House and Senate hearings over the past two weeks. It also comes in the midst of what’s believed to be a lost generation of cryptocurrency investors, as many lost faith in the business as seen recent price crashes and ICO, or initial coin offering, scams. For the past three years, sales of digital currencies have largely been fuelled by casual currency investors in large amounts, and at least one-third have lost money.
Senate Judiciary Committee Vice Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies “an even bigger deal” than he had thought until a few years ago, and the trendsetting potential of the future of financial transactions.
“My personal view is that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will not be regulated as if they were true fiat currencies,” he said. “They will evolve more like gold or commodities.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said he did not like the idea of “government support” of crypto-currencies.
“I don’t care if I get paid in bitcoin,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “If I use my debit card to buy things and I want my debit card to work it works fine. This is consumer protection to me.
“I want to make sure that the basic rules apply to everyone. So they don’t get ripped off. That you don’t get ripped off. That you can protect yourself with a safe store of value.”
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Facebook is banned from cryptocurrency sales on its Messenger platform, according to a new policy the company announced earlier this month. But in May, a study by the Financial Times said the average annual income of crypto-market participants in 2017 was just $4,207, versus $51,000 for doctors and dentists and just $10,564 for dentists and the legal profession.
Dr. Martin Ruck, a dentist in the Netherlands, has been open in his criticisms of the crypto-investment industry, but said in testimony that he used the digital currency Ether for trading and used a standard charting tool to trade alongside his cryptocurrency holdings.
Dr. James White, also a Dutch dentist, said he suffered huge losses when his investment in a digital token called R3 was halted early this year. White said he still refuses to accept future ICOs and tries to limit his investments to the handful of companies he knows.