Senator Hagerty said Do Not Suffocate Crypto Innovation

The exchange happened at a meeting of the banking committee with Consumer Protections Director Rohit Chopra. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-VA), who was elected to represent Tennessee in 2020 following a stint as Ambassador to Japan, addressed newly appointed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra regarding cryptocurrencies during a banking committee hearing, saying, “I just want to ensure that as you exercise those oversight responsibilities, we don’t stifle innovation in this space.”

“Digital ledger technology has enormous potential for financial innovation and inclusivity. It’s an industry in which I believe the United States is, has been, and should continue to be a leader. Particularly when we consider other nations, such as China and the Chinese Communist Party, who have taken steps to prohibit private sector involvement in that field.”
In July, Hagerty and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) filed legislation to explore China’s introduction of a digital currency. Chopra and Hagerty had battled during the former’s confirmation hearings, with Hagerty even proposing legislation requiring legislative approval for the bureau’s budget.

Hagerty said during a late July Senate floor address, “We’re exploiting the Bitcoin market as a pay-for.” Have we thoroughly examined the impact of this additional regulation and taxes on this fast-growing industry? Will the industry’s leadership depart the United States as a result?”

During his tenure on the Federal Trade Commission, Chopra questioned Facebook’s adoption of Libra and lobbied the Federal Reserve to embrace a rapid payments service named FedNow. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warned consumers about Bitcoin as early as 2014, warning them to “be aware of potential issues with virtual currencies, such as unclear costs, volatile exchange rates, the threat of hacking and scams, and that companies may not offer assistance or refunds for lost or stolen funds.”

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