House Agriculture Digital Assets Hearing Next Week; Fed Governor On Blockchain

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House Ag digital assets hearing

The House Agriculture Committee has publicly announced a hearing for next Thursday (April 27, 2p) at the Longworth House Office Building, “The Future of Digital Assets: Identifying the Regulatory Gaps in Spot Market Regulation.” See a bit more.

The new Subcommittee on Commodity Markets, Digital Assets, and Rural Development (see it) led by Chair Rep. Dusty Johnson (R, SD) will guide the meeting along with Ranking Member Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D, CO). The hearing’s title may suggest interest in legislation putting certain digital assets under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the jurisdiction. A reintroduction of House Ag Chair’s GT Thompson‘s (R, PA) Digital Commodity Exchange Act from the 117th Congress could be an outcome.

Rep. Foster on stablecoin bill

Yesterday, Politico covered the now-scuttled stablecoin bill in the the House Financial Services (HFS) Committee. In spite of the decisive rejection of the bill by HFS Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D, CA) and Digital Assets Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Steven Lynch (D, MA), at least one HFS Committee Democrat sees hope.

Rep. Bill Foster (D, IL), who was co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus in the last Congress, tells Politico, “The ranking member and the chairman’s staff are not the people who are going to be deciding this (…) Anything that succeeds in coming out of committee will probably be a bipartisan thing out of the ideological center… That doesn’t happen naturally when it’s a leadership-driven thing, compared to a wide discussion.” Read more.

By the way, is the bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus dead? The Biden Administration may be asking Dems to adhere to the “anti-crypto army” positioning first implemented by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) for her Senate campaign and in preparation for the 2024 general election.

Given this tack, it’s hard to imagine any Democrats – including its former co-Chair Rep. Foster – aligning with the Caucus other than, maybe, Rep. Wiley Nickel (D, NC) and Rep. Ritchie Torres (D, NY) who appeared open to the stablecoin bill at this week’s hearing.

Fed Governor on blockchain

Another Federal Reserve Governor provided their input on cryptocurrency and the U.S. financial system. At the Cryptocurrency and the Future of Global Finance, Sarasota, Florida, Governor Christopher Waller said in part, “As I discussed in my prior remarks on crypto-assets, I think of the crypto ecosystem as consisting of several parts, including the database management protocol used to record trades, commonly referred to as blockchain.” It’s more than “number go up,” in other words. Waller thinks blockchain has its place with Artificial Intelligence (AI), too. Read more.

Europe approves MiCA

The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved its Markets in Crypto-Assets framework yesterday with another still another, formal vote coming in mid-May. Implementation of the rules will be spread out over the next few years and includes environmental impact disclosures by crypto companies as well as their registration “in one of the EU’s member states. The European Securities and Markets Authority as well as the European Banking Authority will oversee compliance of crypto firms,” reports Blockworks.

European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, who appeared at last year’s DC Fintech Week, said in a speech to the Euro Parliament, “Firstly, MiCA will bring crypto markets into the regulated space by addressing risks related to consumer protection, market integrity, and financial stability. (…) Secondly, it will introduce rules to prevent market abuse of crypto markets, such as market manipulation. (…) Third, under MiCA, crypto-asset service providers – like wallet providers or exchanges – that serve EU customers will have to be established in the EU.” Opening remarks by Commissioner McGuinness at the European Parliament plenary joint debate on crypto-assets…” Read it.

The $1.7 billion low

According to data from Crunchbase, new funding for the Web3-digital-assets-crypto space hit another new low of $1.7 billion. “The funding number is also a 30% decline from the final quarter of last year, and the lowest total since the fourth quarter of 2020 — which saw only $1.1 billion — when many people had never heard of Web3,” says the database firm. Read more.

use case: lending

Axios explores real-world asset tokenization and coming opportunities with decentralized finance (DeFi). Lending is top of mind for some entrepreneurs as Axios’ Crystal Kim reports on companies Goldfinch and Centrifuge whose “respective businesses, even at the peak of active loan volumes across those types of DeFi protocols, were fractions of the largest players’ Maple and Truefi. Now, the pair appear to be the only game in town in the months following the collapse of FTX.” Read more about what could be a future product for banks.

new bad guys conference

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis announced in an email that its CryptoDC conference in Washington, DC will be this July 25-26. The firm, which is renowned within government for rooting out criminals who are using cryptocurrency, says that it will bring together “leaders and experts from across the law enforcement, regulatory, and national security communities to discuss the threats and opportunities in today’s cryptocurrency landscape and how to prepare for future innovation.” Given the ongoing regulation debacle, the lack of guardrails is likely good for companies serving law enforcement and government like Chainalysis.

Tornado Cash dev release

Tornado Cash developer Alex Pertsev will be released from an Amsterdam jail, but remain under home detention using an electronic monitoring device beginning next Wednesday says Decrpyt which adds, “Russia-born Pertsev was arrested on August 10, 2022, by the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD), the agency responsible for investigating financial crimes in the Netherlands.” U.S. Treasury sanctioned the mixing service at around the same time as Pertsev’s arrest.

still more tips

Metropolitan Commercial Bank Is Almost Done Exiting Crypto Business – CoinDesk

U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase secures Bermuda license – Reuters

With Bitcoin Soaring, Tesla May Soon Include Crypto Gains in Its Earnings Report – Barron’s

Crypto, Miami and the future of tech hubs – Politico

As crypto thaws, regulatory questions may drive investment overseas – The Hill

Crypto criminals beware: AI is after you – Fox Business

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