Crypto

New House Subcommittee to Prioritize Crypto Oversight | Latham & Watkins LLP

The Financial Services Committee seeks to bring order to an industry many say has suffered from lack of proper rulemaking.

On January 12, 2023, incoming House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry established a new subcommittee on digital assets, financial technology, and inclusion. Rep. French Hill will chair the subcommittee, while Rep. Warren Davidson will serve as its vice-chair.

According to Rep. McHenry, the subcommittee will:

  • provide federal regulators with clear rules for the digital asset ecosystem;
  • develop policies that promote financial technology to reach underserved communities; and
  • identify best practices and policies to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the digital asset ecosystem.

The subcommittee will also likely schedule exploratory hearings with industry delegates and play a critical role in developing legislation where gaps exist.

Reps. McHenry, Hill, and Davidson have led lawmakers’ efforts to seek clearer oversight of fintech and the digital asset industry. Persistent concerns include guardrails for stablecoins, development of a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC), and jurisdictional friction between the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The creation of a new crypto subcommittee signals Congress’ earnest attempt to align the digital asset industry with traditional financial institution oversight. (The powerful House Financial Services Committee has jurisdiction over issues related to the US economy, the banking system, housing, insurance, securities, and exchanges.) The subcommittee, alongside other sources of regulatory momentum, could therefore lead to much-needed operational clarity for the embattled crypto industry.

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