A new round of talks is taking place in Washington today between US financial companies and cryptocurrency startups entitled “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies” with ICOs as a major focus.
The sector representatives will meet with Washington lawmakers in order to further discuss Congressman Warren Davidson’s proposed bill set to pass through the House of Representatives this fall. Representatives of the industry invited to Capitol Hill for today’s roundtable are listed as Andreessen Horowitz, Circle, CME Group, Coin Center, CoinList, Harbor, Intercontinental Exchange, Kraken, Nasdaq, Ripple, Union Square Ventures and some others.
Davidson sits on The United States House Committee on Financial Services, which is responsible for overseeing the entire financial services industry, including the securities, insurance, banking, and housing industries. Congressman Davidson describes the meeting as design to offer a “light touch” to current ICO regulation before the new bill goes to US Congress later this year. He commented:
“I intend to lead legislation for initial coin offerings to clarify the role of regulators, protect consumers, address national security concerns, and facilitate a pro-growth environment for businesses to raise capital.”
Davidson had forewarned participants in a letter that discussing ICO overregulation would be the main theme among other issues, writing that “your input is critical to helping us pre-empt a heavy-handed regulatory approach that could stall innovation and kill the US ICO (Initial Coin Offering) market”.
Countries around the globe have taken quite differing legislative approaches to ICOs. The US, through the SEC, has always taken a “legislate first, business later, approach”, dissuading many overseas companies from entering the US crypto market. The EU has implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) this year of which the main focus is an individual’s right to control what happens to their own data, which has implications for blockchain.
In South Korea, a ban on ICOs was put in place last year as a safeguard to crypto related fraud but the blockchain community is flourishing. Earlier this year, the South Korean government invested KRW 4.2 million (USD 3.75 million) into improving public services using blockchain applications for customs clearance, history of cattle, and simple property transaction.
US Republican Tom Emmer, who is pushing for more interaction between government and companies working with new technologies such as blockchain, recently commented on a new bill he hopes to get passed through the legislature:
“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…”
Emmer, who is co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, calls for a “hands off” regulatory approach to blockchain.
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