The congressional hearing is extremely unlikely to be a cozy affair — with the cryptocurrency executives set to face a barrage of confrontational questions.
The CEOs of six major cryptocurrencies are heading for a showdown with U.S. politicians in Congress later today.
FTX's CEO Sam Bankman-Fried will be in attendance, along with Bitfury's CEO Brian Brooks and Coinbase Inc's CEO Alesia Haas. They'll be joined by the heads of Circle, Paxos and the Stellar Development Foundation.
The House Committee on Financial Services session has been titled "Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: Understanding the Challenges and Benefits of Financial Innovation in the United States."
This committee is chaired by Maxine Waters, the Democratic Representative from California, who has been a vocal critic on cryptocurrencies in the past.
Waters has previously described the cryptocurrency industry as "minimally regulated." Last year, she urged the incoming Biden administration to "rescind or monitor" the crypto-related measures brought in by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency during Trump's time in office. She has also been a staunch critic of Facebook's plans to launch a digital currency.
What to Expect
The congressional hearing is extremely unlikely to be a cozy affair — with the cryptocurrency executives set to face a barrage of confrontational questions from lawmakers who are largely skeptical about digital assets.
The U.S. is racing to keep up with the fast-moving sector, and major economies are currently debating how best to regulate it. The decentralized nature of many projects can make oversight difficult.
While the CEOs in attendance could face uncomfortable questions about whether they're doing enough to protect the consumers who use their platforms, politicians could be in line for criticism for creating an atmosphere of uncertainty for businesses… and failing to understand the opportunities that digital assets bring.