ICOs under Fire at Congress Hearing

| Publish date: 03/15/2018 (Last updated: March 15, 2018 12:56 PM)

CoinDesk reported that on Wednesday, a Hearing was held of the House Capital Markets, Securities and Investment Subcommittee to answer the question of how to ensure investors were protected while at the same time not preventing growth in the cryptocurrency market.

The Hearing was attended by academic as well as industry witnesses, where the divergent opinions on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies held by various members of Congress were expressed.

Views Expressed at the Hearing

While there were extremes in viewpoints, with one member of Congress calling blockchain tech a “crock” at one end of the spectrum, to Rep. Tom Emmer, a strong supporter of the new technology saying that cryptos was such a huge topic that they could not even scratch its surface even in 5 minutes.

However, most agreed that a balance needed to be struck between omissions and accommodation of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

A lot of questions were asked regarding regulations for cryptos in the US and many of those questions were targeted at Mike Lempres, Coinbase’s chief legal and risk officer. Lempres was also the only representative of startups working in crypto exchanges.

One key question asked by Rep. Keith Ellison, which he said his constituents ask on a regular basis, was whether it was safe to invest in cryptocurrencies. Dr. Chris Brummer, Law professor at Georgetown University Law Center, said that given the complexity of such assets, it would be very dangerous to invest in them at this time.

A lot of subcommittee members were also of the opinion that the best way to handle regulation in cryptocurrencies and blockchain was through acts of legislation.

The discussion ranged from questions about the potential benefits to the economy, providing legal support and giving protection to crypto investors and the development of crypto regulations.

Mike Lempres’ Testimony

Coin Telegraph reported that Mike Lempres’ testimony was key in this Hearing. He talked about how digital currencies and their associated technologies could


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