In a recent interview, Ron Hammond from the Blockchain Association shed light on the busy crypto-related activities in Washington, D.C. Hammond pointed out two important hearings this week: one involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the other addressing digital assets in general.
Speaking to Thinking Crypto, he said that the one central issue concerning several members of Congress is the SEC’s approach to cryptocurrency and private equity. The SEC’s recent rules have raised concerns within the industry, and there’s a growing focus on these matters in the Financial Services Committee. Patrick McHenry, the committee’s leader, has vehemently opposed this issue.
Additionally, the Digital Asset Subcommittee, which initially concentrated on cryptocurrency, is now widening its scope to encompass broader fintech and artificial intelligence (AI) concerns. This expansion is attributed to the SEC’s increased oversight over these areas under Chairman Gensler.
The National Security Subcommittee will host another upcoming hearing. This session will primarily focus on the funding mechanisms employed by Hamas for their activities. The goal is to investigate where the funds are coming from and whether cryptocurrencies support their actions. Given the critical nature of national security, this issue has sparked concern among policymakers from both sides of the aisle.
He said, “But at the same time I mean the SBF trial happening right now has largely kind of gone back to the sidelines. Here in terms of tension, whenever there is a major crisis, especially of national security or especially involving an ally, everything else going on, goes to the side.”
Elizabeth Warren’s recent comments linking cryptocurrency to the situation in the Middle East were also discussed. While Warren has been critical of the crypto industry, the Blockchain Association has invited her to meet with innovators, national security experts, and constituents at their upcoming policy summit in November.
The SEC’s denial of the Grayscale Bitcoin Spot ETF and Larry Fink’s comments on cryptocurrency and Bitcoin ETFs were noted. These developments have impacted policymaking, with Congress exerting political pressure on the SEC to approve cryptocurrency-related financial products.
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