Testimony before the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

Peter Van Valkenburgh testified in a hearing entitled “Improving Consumer’s Financial Options With FinTech.”

During his oral testimony and through the wide ranging hearing, Peter made clear that the existing financial services regulatory regime is not well suited for the open blockchain ecosystem, and that this mismatch is putting the United States at a very real risk of driving financial innovation overseas.

To recapture American competitiveness in this area, he called for two policy solutions:

First, a unified federal alternative to the complex and burdensome state-by-state money transmission licensing system. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s proposed special purpose fintech charter would do just that.

Second, a safe harbor for digital currency companies that never take custody of a customer’s funds. If money transmission licenses are meant to protect consumers from potential loss of funds, then it makes no sense to require licenses from firms that have absolutely no capability to lose funds.

Based in Washington, D.C., Coin Center is the leading non-profit research and advocacy center focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency and decentralized computing technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Our mission is to build a better understanding of these technologies and to promote a regulatory climate that preserves the freedom to innovate using permissionless blockchain technologies.