US Congressman: ‘Race to Regulate’ Won’t Solve Crypto Fraud

Though fraud is undoubtedly an issue in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry believes lawmakers shouldn’t rush to impose new regulations.

“It’s my fear that Congress and other policymakers get wrapped up in the hype of bitcoin and feel like doing something – anything – is better than nothing,” he told CoinDesk in an interview on Tuesday, adding:

“And I get it, there’s fraud, there are bad actors, there’s irrational hysteria in the space, but a race to regulate is not the answer.”

The North Carolinian Congressman’s comments echo those made by fellow Republican Rep. Tom Emmer last month at an event in Washington, D.C., but diverge from those offered by his colleagues on the House Capital Markets, Securities and Investment Subcommittee.

During a March hearing on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies, California Rep. Brad Sherman memorably dubbed cryptocurrencies a “crock,” while Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga declared: “This panel, this Congress is not going to sit by idly with a lack of protection for investors.”

McHenry said in the interview that such hastiness could stifle the innovative potential of the blockchain industry.

“I think there’s such a great opportunity around this technology that I think we have to be open to it and we have to have federal regulation and law that respects it,” he explained.

Hold off on new laws

Likewise, McHenry said he thinks the existing regulatory approach is working, and that it is unlikely that Congress will need to develop entirely new laws for the industry in the future…

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