17 July, 2018
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee will host a one-panel hearing titled “The Future of Money: Digital Currency,” which will be headed by Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling.
The hearing on Wednesday, July 18, will be led by the Subcommittee on Monetary Trade and Policy with a focus on domestic and global uses for cryptocurrency and whether it should be considered a form of money.
As stated in the memorandum from the Financial Services Committee website:
“This hearing will examine the extent to which the United States government should consider cryptocurrencies as money and the potential domestic and global uses for cryptocurrencies. The Subcommittee will evaluate the merits of any uses by central banks of cryptocurrencies, and discuss the future of both cryptocurrencies and physical cash.”
Witnesses at this hearing will include Professors of Economics from the University of California Santa Barbara, the Director of the Center for Data Analysis, and Senior Fellows from think tanks Brookings Institution and R. Street Institute.
This will not be the first time the Financial Services Committee has put together a hearing concerning cryptocurrencies. Lawmakers have also discussed terrorism financing and fraudulent investments in relation to cryptocurrency. Previous witnesses have included blockchain startup founders and members of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
As we previously reported, a study was recently released by U.K. housing minister Eddie Hughes stating that “cryptocurrencies are the logical next step for money and could become a global mainstream form of payment within the next decade.” As more and more leading thinkers recognize the potential of cryptocurrency, the industry is set to flourish.
Supreme Court’s Justice Stephen Breyer optimistically wrote the following in a verdict:
“What we view as money has changed over time. Cowrie shells once were such a medium but no longer are; our currency originally included gold coins and bullion, but, after 1934, gold could not be used as a medium of exchange; perhaps one day employees will be paid in Bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency.”
Currently, the SEC considers cryptocurrencies to be commodities, not currency, but this hearing is a positive step in examining the role of digital currencies and how they should be regarded as the financial world evolves.