California Rep. Maxine Waters, a senior member of the United States House Committee on Financial Services, has called for coordination and cooperation between government agencies and legislators to address cryptocurrency regulation.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Representative Waters suggested that recent enforcement measures in the crypto space by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) may have It was to present the image of “doing something substantive and meaningful” after the collapse of major exchanges, including FTX. According to Waters, the market crash and related bankruptcies of major companies gave U.S. lawmakers an opportunity to be “held accountable” in the cryptocurrency space.
“To the CFTC and the SEC: I’m not going to get in the middle of any disagreements, any dislikes, either approach – the two better come together so we can deal with cryptocurrency,” Waters said. “I think it’s time that the Treasury, the feds, the CFTC, the SEC, all of us better come together to address the issue of cryptocurrency.”
When Waters chaired the House Committee on Financial Services, supported a bill to regulate stablecoins in cooperation with the Treasury Department, telling Cointelegraph that he was “still optimistic” that such legislation could be passed under President Patrick McHenry. He added that bringing regulatory clarity to the space – ostensibly in an effort to provide additional guidance on enforcement actions – was one of his legislative priorities in the new Congress.
“The world is moving in the cryptocurrency realm: different countries, different things we still have to think about,” Waters said. “I think that […] It has to be one of our priorities.”
The congresswoman was one of the legislators who asked former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried to testify at a hearing held in December 2022 on the Financial Services Committee of the House of Representatives. Authorities detained Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas before he could appear remotely before Congress.
At press time, the committee had not announced another hearing on the FTX collapse or related events in the crypto space. However, Representative Waters said that she was “sure” that there would be more than one hearing exploring cryptocurrency regulation as part of the current session of Congress.
“I have a lot of questions that I and the members of my committee would like to ask you. [a Bankman-Fried]Waters said. “I want to go over the relationship between FTX and Alameda and exactly how much money they funneled into Alameda and what kind of investments were made and what their relationship was with those investments. […] Did you know and understand that you were committing fraud?”
Many in the crypto space have criticized Waters for politically “pandering” to Bankman-Fried at a hearing in December 2021, posing later with the then-CEO of FTX in a now-viral photo. The congresswoman denied rumors that she accepted campaign donations from FTX, saying that she had “received not a dime, not a dime” and that she had no relation to the exchange’s contributions.
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