US Crypto Industry, Wall Street, Lawmakers to Discuss Virtual Coin Regulation

A roundtable discussion will be held this week in Washington ahead of the submission of four cryptocurrency and blockchain-related draft bills.

Capitol Hill will host a major digital currency discussion on Tuesday focused on the future of cryptocurrency regulation in the United States. The attendee list includes representatives from the US blockchain industry like Ripple and Coinbase, Wall Street companies such as Nasdaq and Fidelity, and Congressmen, according to CNBC.

The panel, dubbed “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies,” is organized by Representative Warren Davidson (R-Ohio). Davidson wants to hear different opinions on how cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology (DLT) should be overseen. The Congressman plans to submit a bill for virtual coin regulation and wants to understand what various stakeholders think about issues like consumer protection from fraud.

“Your input is critical to helping us preempt a heavy-handed regulatory approach that could stall innovation and kill the U.S. ICO market,” Davidson said in a letter to invitees as per CNBC report.

The roundtable will include representatives from the US Chamber of Commerce, Nasdaq stock exchange, and multinational financial services player Fidelity, which has recently revealed a plan for a cryptocurrency-based product. Executives for State Street, venture capital firm Union Square, and the fund of Andreessen Horowitz complement the attendee list. The crypto industry will be represented by startup Ripple, the body behind XRP virtual coin, as well as Coinbase exchange and Circle, the owner of the Poloniex trading platform.

Pat Berarducci, a lawyer for ConsenSys, who will participate in the panel, said that crypto companies make decisions such as where to register their business on the regulatory base.

“There are a lot of regulators wanting the US to develop 'do no harm' policies to allow innovation to grow, just like they did in the internet era,” Berarducci explained.

Lawmaker’s list includes Reps. Ted Budd (R-North Carolina), French Hill (R-Arkansas), Darren Soto (D-Florida), and Tom Emmer (R-Minnesota). Last week, Emmer unveiled three DLT and cryptocurrency-orientated bills, including “a safe harbor for taxpayers” who hold virtual coins.

“The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills,” Emmer noted in a statement.

Currently, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) uses the so-called Howey Test from 1946 when deciding if certain cryptos come under the purview of federal securities law. Earlier this year, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said that he is against change in the existing laws to cater to virtual coins.