Congresswoman Maxine Waters announced on Wednesday that Congress had formed a new working group tasked with cryptocurrency and fintech policy.
The House Democrat group is called the Blockchain Caucus or Fintech Task Force and will feature 12 members of the House Financial Services Committee.
Speaking on the the objectives of the new working group Waters confirmed the intent to “work together on legislation and policy solutions on such matters as cryptocurrency regulation, the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technology, and the possible development of a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency.”
#BREAKING – Chairwoman @RepMaxineWaters Announces #DigitalAssets Working Group | https://t.co/vO5JwXPYqP pic.twitter.com/TkcEW6nbIi
— U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (@FSCDems) June 16, 2021
Central bank digital currencies, CBDCs, have become increasingly hot for central banks around the world as governments are looking for increased control mechanisms. Thereby taking to digitization of their pre-existing financial infrastructure.
U.S. playing catch-up
Although the United States has yet to have made any big step towards developing its own CBDC, China is on the other end of the spectrum being in the final stage of its trials. For example, the country recently launched over 3,000 ATMs that can accept and convert digital Yuan to cash. China also recently launched a “lottery” with $6.2 million in digital yuan up for grabs.
Congressman Bill Foster, the only blockchain programmer in Congress and one of the 12 members of the task force, stressed the importance of the Blockchain Caucus is in the U.S. adapting to the rapidly growing fintech space. He said:
“The United States is playing catch-up to the rest of the world when it comes to digital currency, and if we’re going to protect the U.S. dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency, we need to make the development of secure and privacy-preserving digital currency a priority.”
The announcement of the task force comes just a week after the conclusion of Bitcoin 2021 in Miami, where congressman Warren Davidson and senator Cynthia Lummis went on stage to answer some questions about cryptocurrency.
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