The executives of six cryptocurrency companies will testify before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Wednesday about the promises, dangers and uses of stablecoins or cryptocurrencies tied to the value of stable assets like the dollar.

These include Brian Brooks, the currency’s former acting auditor under President Donald J. Trump and now the chairman of the board of the blockchain technology company Bitfury Group; Sam Bankman-Fried, head of the FTX crypto exchange; Alesia Haas, the chief executive of Coinbase’s United States Exchange; and Jeremy Allaire, head of payment company Circle.

According to the committee’s hearing note, stablecoins’ market cap reached nearly $ 147 billion in November, up more than 500 percent from the previous 12 months. But they have proven it so far not be covered as stably as some issuers have claimedwhich, given current growth rates, raises concerns about a digital bank run that could threaten the wider economy. Financial regulators last month urged Congress to “Act quickly to pass laws” that addresses these risks.

Wednesday’s hearing, convened by California Representative Maxine Waters, Democratic chairman of the committee, is part of a crypto “fact-finding mission” that will help members determine what steps to take next on stablecoins and other cryptocurrency issues are undertaking, said an adviser to the committee. He declined to provide a timetable for potential legislative action, but acknowledged that it could be imminent given the concern and urgency expressed by financial regulators.

Some of the executives who testify at the hearing will try to convince the committee that it is focusing on the wrong questions. Mr Brooks said American politicians were too preoccupied with petty issues, such as whether stablecoin issuers should be granted banking charter and what crypto-token securities might be, and insufficiently concerned with global primacy and secure access for investors to the desired products.

Co-founder and chief executive of stablecoin issuer Paxos, Charles Cascarilla, said he looks forward to discussing with policy makers how crypto could make funding more efficient and inclusive.

Crypto executives often argue that blockchain technology enables people to bypass traditional intermediaries and move values ​​around the internet without porters like banks. That could help move the 1.7 billion people worldwide who are excluded from the existing financial system to a new one, they say.

Denelle Dixon, the executive director of the blockchain payments network Stellar, said she wanted to argue that stablecoins are already being used creatively beyond trade and speculation, for example to facilitate alternative banking services for refugees in Africa. “It’s up to the industry to introduce people to the technology,” she said.

Another hearing on stablecoins, convened by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, was scheduled for next week by the Senate Banking Committee. The list of witnesses is not yet complete.

Mr Brown, the Democratic chairman of the committee and a vocal crypto critic, said he was reviewing the responses a letter he sent to major stablecoins issuers and investors who asked about their business and relationships, citing the risks raised by the financial regulators. The request was sent to the Coinbase, Gemini and Binance.US crypto exchanges, the stablecoin issuers Circle, Tether, Paxos and Trust Token, and the Center stablecoin consortium, which oversees the Circle and Coinbase joint venture.

Brown said his hearing next week is a “step” towards legislation and he is working with financial regulators such as Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Gary Gensler and Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen.

But the Senator doesn’t expect executives to say much about blockchain or financial inclusion at the hearing on Wednesday or any other that he has never heard before. Remembering the “financial wizards” of yore who promoted mortgage-backed securities and derivatives before the 2008 financial crisis, he asked, “When will we learn?”

Mr. Brown added, “I want responsible innovation, and that means rules.”



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