Removing Barriers Blog

Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem”
Posted October 15, 2018 by CUNA Advocacy

On Thursday, October 11, members of the Senate Banking Committee met to discuss the rise of cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology, with a focus on Bitcoin and its benefits and dangers. The committee and panelists covered the positive and negative repercussions of the technology, the validity of the various key tenants that make blockchain a unique tool, concerns over crime and illicit transfer of funds via cryptocurrencies, and expectations for the future from an economic and regulatory perspective.

Ranking Member Brown (D-OH) cited the upcoming tenth anniversary of Bitcoin, which was introduced to the world on October 31, 2008. Sen. Brown said the goal of the cryptocurrency and the dreams of its users is to reduce reliance on a corrupt and non-transparent banking system that has consistently let down consumers and citizens across the country. Chairman Crapo (R-ID) praised the technology underlying blockchain for helping prevent the problem of double-spend (an issue of the same unit of currency being able to be spent twice, such as giving the same $20 bill to two different vendors for different purchases) that has plagued theoretical online currencies, along with other issues. He said  that the committee would benefit to hear about the use of cryptocurrencies and derivative products as a store of value or medium of exchange or benefit, the current and potential applications of blockchain technology, and the regulatory issues facing the technology ecosystem, as well as recommendations for improvement.

CUNA will continue to monitor the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.