Congressman Hill to ‘make sure’ US is the place for blockchain innovation


The chairman of the newly formed U.S. congressional subcommittee on digital assets has pledged for progressive crypto regulations to ensure that “America is the place for innovation in fintech and blockchain.”

Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Jan. 26, Congressman French Hill offered some of his first insights into what is anticipated for crypto regulations in the country.

The Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion, which is chaired by Hill, was put together on Jan. 12 with the remit of “identifying best practices and policies that continue to strengthen diversity and inclusion in the digital asset ecosystem.”

During the interview, Hill said that Bitcoin (BTC) was not quite ready to be a real-time payments industry yet, but added that “we want to make sure that America is the place for innovation in fintech and blockchain is part of that future.”

When asked about the possibility of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), Hill commented that the new subcommittee also wants to explore this possibility.

The SEC has repeatedly rejected applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF, including one by the world’s largest crypto asset manager, Grayscale.

Other areas of the subcommittee’s focus will be related to federal privacy law, a stablecoin bill and the ramifications for the securities market, while working with the Senate on the commodity aspect of the crypto industry.

He said crypto trading and exchanges would need to be “overseen” but did not specify which agency would do so.

“All of that is on the table and all of that is going to be a priority this year,” he said.

Related: Next House committee chair reintroduces bill on crypto innovation

The host implied that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been dragging its feet, inquiring “as long as Gary Gensler is there, do you see any progress being made?”

Hill said that Gensler was the “cop on the beat” last year claiming to be an expert in this area, adding:

“So we’ll invite him up to Congress to tell us what he knows, what he recommends in this area, and what he was doing last year when we had so many challenges for our investors and consumers.”

The comments and outlook are positive when put into context with the SEC which has been accused by Senators of regulating by enforcement and conducting extrajudicial sweeps on the crypto industry.