A key member of the House Financial Services Committee said Congress needs to create more oversight for cryptocurrency, specifically surrounding the “muddied and fairly opaque” markets for ICOs and trading digital tokens.
According to a report in Bloomberg, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) — who could take over the panel if Republicans maintain control of the House — said Congress needs to work with regulators, like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, to provide better protections regarding these types of transactions.
In an interview, Huizenga said a major question is how these digital currencies should be classified. Officials have been focused on recent scams tied to digital currencies, however there is division about how much transparency and oversight needs to be employed.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), who is retiring, is currently in charge of the panel, and a number of officials are jockeying to take the helm once he leaves. Vice Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) is considered the front runner if House control doesn’t change. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) would be in line to take control if the House majority changes.
In May, regulators in both the U.S. and Canada announced plans to investigate cryptocurrency scams, including ICOs and unregistered offerings, as part of an effort called Operation Crypto-Sweep.
The president of the North American Securities Administrators Association told Reuters that prior actions up until then were just “the tip of the iceberg.” The chief economist at Vanguard said at the time that he saw a possibility of bitcoin falling to zero.
Alibaba’s Jack Ma recently warned that, while he believes in blockchain, bitcoin represents a bubble that he wants to stay away from.
Jack Ma (World Economic Forum)