House Financial Services Hearings Coming This Month; UK And France See Crypto Interest Uptick

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hearings – stablecoins

House Financial Services’ (HFS) Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion Subcommittee will reconvene next Wednesday, April 19 at 10 a.m., with a hearing titled, “Understanding Stablecoins’ Role in Payments and the Need for Legislation.” Led by Chair Rep. French Hill (R, AR) and its Ranking Member Rep. Stephen Lynch (D, MA), no agenda is available on the HFS website, yet.

more tips

Digital Chamber’s Cody Carbone tells blockchain tipsheet there is a Markup scheduled for April 26 (Will it include a stablecoin bill?).

And, House Financial Services’ Digital Asset Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Identifying the Regulatory Gaps in the Digital Asset Market Structure” on April 27.

Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion Subcommittee –

hearings – Gensler and HFS

Next Tuesday’s House Financial Services oversight hearing of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) will give the committee’s Republican members its first chance to question SEC Chair Gary Gensler in person in the 118th Congress. The 10 a.m. hearing will undoubtedly review Chair Gensler’s Howey-Test-is-enough positioning for a digital assets regulatory framework.

HFS Chair Rep. Patrick McHenry (R, NC) and HFS Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Rep. Bill Huizenga (R, MI) sent a February letter to Chair Gensler in regards to the curious timing of the arrest of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) – just prior to his scheduled appearance in front of House Financial Services late last year.

The Congressmen received no response from Chair Gensler, so they followed with another letter (PDF) yesterday.

Meanwhile, Ranking Member Rep. Maxine Waters (D, CA) responded to HFS Republican leadership back in February with a letter of her own and tried to keep attention focused on a possible SBF appearance. Will she continue to pursue this strategy?

Republicans’ sharp criticism of the SEC Chair will be expected. But, how Democrats treat his appearance may the most telling element of this hearing. It could “tip the hand” on the potential for successful passage of industry-friendly (or innovation-friendly) legislation – a position held by Republicans – in a divided Congress. Democrats have remained fairly muted in their support of digital assets legislation in the 118th Congress compared to last year, pre-FTX implosion.

Other issues will be top of mind for the hearing, too, such as the SEC’s climate disclosure rules.

more tips:

McHenry, Huizenga Call Out Chair Gensler’s “Unacceptable” Failure to Provide Information on Charges Against Sam Bankman-Fried – FinancialServices.House.Gov

Hearing: Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission –

international crypto: UK

The London Stock Exchange is adding England’s “first regulated trading and clearing in bitcoin index futures and options derivatives,” reports Reuters.

This follows the UK’s ongoing “public consultation” by The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), which regulates banks in the UK. The PRA is on the verge of proposing rules for issuing and holding digital assets according to a February speech from the Bank of England.

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has licensed technology from startup GFO-X which “will offer clearing on cash settled digital asset index derivatives, adding much needed trust to the digital asset derivative ecosystem.”

more tips:

GFO-X Announces Strategic Partnership With LCH SA for Trading and Clearing of Bitcoin Index Futures and Options – press release

London Stock Exchange unit to clear bitcoin derivatives – The Block

international crypto: France

Looking back at the hubbub of last month’s Paris Blockchain Week, Bloomberg observes that excitement is building in France for crypto. One key attribute luring companies “is its top-notch engineering schools like École Polytechnique that churn out a steady supply of tech talent. Beyond that, Paris has attracted much of the financial services sector that left London after Brexit, deepening the ecosystem surrounding digital assets.” Read more.

tokenized photos

The tokenization train is only starting to take off for real-world assets. Camera company Canon announced that it’s all aboard and building a Photo NFT Marketplace called Cadabra on the Ethereum blockchain. Decrypt reports that Cadabra is “described as a curated marketplace for tokenized photographs, is set to roll out later in 2023 following an initial preview at this week’s NFT NYC conference.” Read more.

republican for CBDCs

A Forbes article shines a light on a Republican who is in favor of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) – albeit with certain guardrails. Kevin Warsh, who was a former Republican appointee to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and now is at the Hoover Institute, sees national security interests as a critical element on why CBDCs are important. China’s CBDC leadership “‘represents a consequential threat to the extant American-led financial architecture,’ one which requires the U.S. to develop its own, ‘American-style, narrow CBDC’,” reports Forbes. A CBDC could work as a “wholesale” product says Warsh.   Former CFTC Chair Chris Giancarlo, a Republican, also sees opportunity for CBDCs. Read more.

more tips:

Money Matters: The US Dollar, Cryptocurrency, and the National Interest – American Enterprise Institute

senate photo op

talked ‘why crypto?’ at the senate building today: – on Twitter

1. 50x cheaper remittances with stablecoins
2. more empowered creators with NFTs
3. sovereign onchain identity with @ENS_DAO
4. stronger local economies with @oakcurrency

still more tips

To mine or not to mine? Crypto rivalry heats up. – Politico

EU’s MiCA Vote Likely Delayed by One Day Without Further Changes – CoinDesk

Twitter partners with eToro to let users trade stocks, crypto as Musk pushes app into finance – CNBC

Mastercard drops NFT that unlocks access to its Artist Accelerator, supporting emerging musician – press release

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