US House Committee to Hold Virtual Currency Hearing

The US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing on virtual currencies this week.

According to a published memorandum, the Thursday hearing is being hosted by the Terrorism and Illicit Finance Subcommittee, and is entitled “Virtual Currency: Financial Innovation and National Security Implications”.

Set to appear as witnesses are Jerry Brito, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Coin Center; Scott Dueweke, who serves as president of the Identity and Payments Association; Kathryn Haun, assistant US Attorney and Digital Currency Coordinator for the Department of Justice; Jonathan Levin, co-founder of blockchain startup Chainalysis; and Luke Wilson, vice president of business development for blockchain startup Elliptic.

The committee, according to the memorandum, will focus on exploring “terrorists and illicit use of … FinTech, the national security implications of virtual currencies such as bitcoin, and the use of ‘blockchain’ technologies to record transactions and uncover illicit activities”.

It goes on: “Witnesses will provide testimony about the exploitation of virtual currency by terrorists and transnational criminal groups, as well as provide risk assessments and policy considerations to mitigate illicit financing but not to impede the development of FinTech innovations.”

The hearing comes as members of Congress turn their attention toward digital currencies, primarily through the lens of terrorism financing.

A House subcommittee focused on intelligence is considering a bill to study the area, and last week, a pair of influential senators introduced a bill of their own that calls for more oversight of digital currency business activities in the US.

Congress image via Shutterstock

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