WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With the White House calling on Congress to get to work after the fall of FTX, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say they will not shy away from regulating the cryptocurrency industry.
“The industry is hoping the dust will settle, things will quiet down,” Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill, said on the Senate floor. “Guess again.”
He said the implosion of the cryptocurrency exchange platform FTX, which cost investors billions of dollars, must push Congress to act.
“It’s time do the right thing and be honest about cryptocurrency,” Durbin said. “There should be more transparency, accountability and enough regulations so that we know they’re telling the truth.”
The chair of the Senate banking committee, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he’s ready to get to work to protect consumers.
“I hope to work with Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate, as well as our financial regulators, on comprehensive, bipartisan legislation that protects our financial system and puts consumers first.”Sen. Sherrod Brown
So is Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., the new chair of the House financial services investigations subcommittee.
“Both at a staff level and a member level, there have been some of those conversations,” Huizenga said.
He said he wants hearings to learn how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission missed rampant fraud within FTX and to see new rules drafted that would ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“Figure out how we protect investors but also preserve innovation,” he said. “That should be our goal.”
The SEC has already ramped up enforcement in the wake of FTX’s bankruptcy. In January, it sued two cryptocurrency companies, accusing them of selling unregistered securities.
Last week, the Biden administration laid out a new “roadmap to mitigate cryptocurrencies’ risks.” White House advisers called on Congress to expand the SEC’s power while also protecting consumer pensions from failures within the market.