US Congressman confident of securing stablecoin regulation before retirement 

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

US Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry, believes that Congress will be able to finalise a stablecoin regulatory bill towards the end of the year.

McHenry, who announced he will be retiring from Congress at the end of his current term, spoke on the Committee’s recent failure to agree on stablecoin regulation and his hope it will be passed at a Bitcoin Policy Institute event in Washington. 

He stated: “I think we can get our stablecoin policy set through and signed into law. That will be the first sign that there is hope and that there is bipartisanship when it comes to this world of digital assets.”

McHenry approved a cryptocurrency regulatory bill last July to take it to Congress, however, discussions have not progressed as quickly as other countries. 

The former House Speaker spoke last July on the risks the US faces of falling behind countries such as the UK and Australia in its efforts of advancing with cryptocurrency legislation. 

McHenry, told the Committee last July: “As other jurisdictions like the UK, European Union, Singapore and Australia have moved forward with clear regulatory frameworks for digital assets, the United States is at risk of falling behind. We intend to change that today.”

This is also the same sentiment from the opposition Democratic Party, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen calling on the Committee to push forward with a regulatory bill to sooner protect investors and consumers. 

Last February, Yellen also discussed the need for regulatory oversight on stablecoins, with the market gaining huge momentum with the arrivals of PayPal’s PYUSD and more recently, Ripple Labsannounced native stablecoin

Yellen stated: “The council is focused on digital assets and related risks such as from runs on crypto-asset platforms and stablecoins, potential vulnerabilities from crypto-asset price volatility, and the proliferation of platforms acting outside of or out of compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

“It’s critical for there to be a federal regulatory floor that would apply to all states and that a federal regulator should have the ability to decide if a stablecoin issuer should be barred from issuing such an asset.”

Despite McHenry working and agreeing alongside Democratic Congresspeople to formalise a stablecoin regulatory bill, there has been opposition in regards to the oversight over stablecoin issuers such as PayPal, Ripple and the market’s two largest issuers, Tether and Circle

One of the more high-profile opponents has been Maxine Waters, who has not been shy of voicing her concern over the potential private stablecoin issuers can have on the wider US economic landscape. 

This type of divide within US Congress is a major contributing factor as to why McHenry is concerned of the US falling behind many countries across the world who have or are finalising crypto legislative bills. 

The US’ Atlantic neighbours, the UK, have declared a six month roadmap before a stablecoin bill will be finalised and passed as the country continues seeking to become a hotbed for digital asset innovation. 

McHenry’s term ends on 3 January 2025, giving him and the Committee a nine month window for stablecoin legislation to be agreed upon and passed.