US lawmakers have spent two days trying to grapple with Facebook’s Libra, and they still haven’t come to terms with bitcoin either. What this means in the long-term is that the USA is likely to be left behind in terms of innovation in the digital sector. As CCN and others have pointed out, even Facebook chose Switzerland to register its Libra coin.
Brian Kelly, a crypto fund manager, thinks that the USA has left it too late. He pointed out on CNBC that while travelling the world, he couldn’t help but notice that “other countries are way ahead of the U.S,” saying: The U.S. may have already lost the race…It’s very concerning to me. Asia is eating the U.S.’ lunch. The U.S. is the center of finance. We should take the lead in it.”
CCN says: “While the Libra hearings have forced Congress to confront crypto, policymakers clearly haven’t changed their archaic approach to the market. How do they plan on forming a regulatory framework for the industry? By creating more committees and task forces, of course.”
Meltem Demirors speaks up
Meltem Demirors is a leading voice in the crypto community. Testified before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee this week, where she took it upon herself to help lawmakers differentiate between Facebook’s attempt at a cryptocurrency and bitcoin. Demirors told the senators, “Today what you saw today in the House…was lawmakers are trying to understand what is Libra? Nobody really understands. Libra would like to be a cryptocurrency. That is how Facebook is styling this.”
She also made the point that “cryptocurrencies aren’t going away,” pointing to the $266 billion combined market cap of the broader crypto market.
She further commented, “Lawmakers are very aware that the U.S. needs to remain competitive, that regulatory clarity is tantamount…I think it’s too early to say whether new regulation will be applied.” And added that there would be a committee to look at crypto generally and one just for Libra.
But as CCN says, why is the US government going overboard on committees? Adding, “That appears to be their answer to anything they intend to punt on — form a new group and so far it hasn’t led to much fruit.”