Executives from the US’ most influential crypto firms will be testifying at a hearing on digital assets on December 8.
The hearing, led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, is entitled “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Financial Innovation in the United States.”
Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, has called upon Jeremy Allaire of Circle, Sam Bankman-Fried of crypto exchange FTX, Brian Brooks of Bitfury, Charles Cascarilla of Paxos, Denelle Dixon of Stellar Development Foundation, and CFO of Coinbase Global Alesia Jeanne Haas.
In June, Congresswoman Waters founded the Digital Assets Working Group, citing the need to “examine the issues at hand in the digital asset space,” and the promotion of investor protection and financial inclusion.
“As cryptocurrencies, central bank digital currencies and other digital assets enter the mainstream, the Committee will look at how digital assets have begun to enter many aspects of our lives – from payments to investments to remittances – and consider how to devise legislation to support responsible innovation that protects consumers and investors while promoting greater financial inclusion.”
There are no prepared remarks and there is no public agenda for the hearing. Waters has been publicly critical of cryptocurrency in the past. In July, she recommended that President Joe Biden rescind or monitor guidance from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) concerning cryptocurrency.
The guidance that Waters recommended Biden rescind featured input from Brian P. Brooks, who was at the time the head of the OCC and will now be testifying at the hearing as the CEO of Bitfury.
Brooks said in the guidance:
“From safe-deposit boxes to virtual vaults, we must ensure banks can meet the financial services needs of their customers today. This opinion clarifies that banks can continue satisfying their customers’ needs for safeguarding their most valuable assets, which today for tens of millions of Americans includes cryptocurrency.”
Brooks was also briefly the CEO of Binance’s US arm. In an interview with CNBC, Brooks said that he hoped the hearing would address contradictory regulation on stablecoins, as well as dispel the notion that cryptocurrency mining is a threat to an environmentally sound future.