House of Representatives committee schedules hearing on stablecoins for February 8

The House of Representatives will examine the outlook for stablecoin regulation early next month.

Per a January 25 announcement from Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the House Financial Services Committee will hold a virtual hearing on February 8 entitled “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets’ Report on Stablecoins.”

No witness list is yet available. Largely spearheaded by the Treasury under Secretary Janet Yellen, the report in question came out at the beginning of November and urged Congress to restrict stablecoin issuance to insured depository institutions.

Accompanying that controversial proposal was the threat of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, whose membership largely overlaps with the PWG, designating stablecoins a systemic risk, given FSOC extensive emergency regulatory powers.

Ranking member Patrick McHenry (R-NC) wrote to Waters earlier this week asking for more clarity on cryptocurrency, in the absence of which he said regulators had been overstepping their bounds. However, very little in the way of legislation is likely to pass the Senate between now and midterm elections in November, and even before the current Congress, bills addressing cryptocurrency directly had faced a rough journey between chambers.