Skip to main content

Historic Hearings: What to Expect when Bitcoin Meets two Senate Committees

Op-ed - Historic Hearings: What to Expect when Bitcoin Meets two Senate Committees

What happens when the US Senate meets Bitcoin? Today and tomorrow, the US Senate will conduct two hearings to learn more about this skyrocketing in value, digital, decentralized cryptocurrency. Summoning representatives from the Bitcoin Foundation, BitPay, Circle, Ripple and additionally, representatives from FinCen, Academia and Financial Services Roundtable.

Today, the Bitcoin Foundation and Circle will share the merits of Bitcoin at a 3pm EST Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing entitled, “Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies.” Today’s first panel will first include Jennifer Shasky Calvery (Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network U.S. Department of the Treasury), Mythili Raman (Acting Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice), Edward W. Lowery III (Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Investigative Division, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security). The second panel will be a bit more Bitcoin friendly with testimonies from Ernie Allen (President and Chief Executive Officer, The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children), Patrick Murck (General Counsel, The Bitcoin Foundation, Inc), Jeremy Allaire (Chief Executive Officer, Circle Internet Financial, Inc.) and Jerry Brito (Senior Research Fellow, The Mercatus Center, George Mason University). Senators are seeking further information on how Bitcoin is used to date and additionally whether or not this digital currency poses a threat or greater benefit to US citizens and those abroad. This first hearing to date on virtual currencies certainly has not taken away from exponential price growth of the currency.

Tomorrow, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance and Subcommittee on Economic Policy will hold a hearing entitled, “The Present and Future Impact of Virtual Currencies.” The witnesses on the first panel include Jennifer Shasky Calvery (Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network), David Cotney (Commissioner of Banks, Massachusetts Division of Banks). The witnesses on the second panel include Tony Gallippi (Co-founder and CEO, BitPay, Incorporated), Chris Larsen (Founder and CEO, Ripple Labs) Sarah Jane Hughes (University Scholar and Fellow in Commercial Law, Indiana University Maurer School of Law), Mr. Paul Smocer (BITS President, Financial Services Roundtable). Discussion will most likely highlight the positive impact Bitcoin on Small Businesses, US economic growth, e-commerce, and most importantly individual US citizens.

What is to come following these hearings? We do not know, but we can only hope that the US government will note the tremendous growth of the Bitcoin economy within the past few month alone and recognize the sure benefits Bitcoin provides not only to the US economy but to individuals around the world. Tune into today and tomorrow’s hearings and let us know your thoughts!