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Opening Statements

Opening Statement: “The Future of Digital Assets: Identifying the Regulatory Gaps in Spot Market Regulation”

Rep. Dusty Johnson, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commodity Markets, Digital Assets, and Rural Development, delivered the following opening remarks at today's subcommittee hearing entitled, "The Future of Digital Assets: Identifying the Regulatory Gaps in Spot Market Regulation."

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

"Good afternoon. I want to welcome everyone to our first meeting of the Subcommittee on Commodity Markets, Digital Assets, and Rural Development.

"We have a lot of work to dig into this year and I’m excited to get started. Today’s hearing is on digital assets, but in the coming year, we will also focus on rural development, oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and as the Chairman and Ranking Member committed to last month, legislation to reauthorize the CFTC. I look forward to working with Ranking Member Caraveo and the rest of the Committee on these priorities.

"Today, we are tasked with examining digital asset markets and understanding how the gaps in the regulatory framework are harming consumers and innovators alike.

"I’m excited to note our unprecedented cooperation with the House Financial Services Committee in this effort. As we meet here today, their digital assets subcommittee is convening a complementary hearing, also looking at the gaps in market structure regulation. And next month we will sit together in a joint hearing to continue examining these issues.

"This cooperation is a testament to the importance that both Chairman Thompson and Chairman McHenry, as well as Chairman Hill and me, place on getting digital asset legislation done this Congress.

"A lot of ink has been spilled on digital assets, their value, their purpose, and their ultimate benefit to society. For my part, I see the potential for valuable tools to be created with digital assets, that will enable Americans to solve some of life’s tough problems and build systems to better serve the needs of everyday people. Blockchains and digital assets may not be as revolutionary as some claim, but I don’t believe that every digital asset is a scam or a waste of time.

"There will be hits and misses with digital assets. For every project like Ethereum, Hedera, and Filecoin, there will be projects like BananaCoin, KodakCoin, and MoonCoin.

"The difficult task we are starting today is to craft a legislative framework that will allow the next Filecoin or Ethereum to emerge, while protecting the public from the hype, scams, and frauds, which have been so prevalent to crypto over the past ten years.
"This task is bigger than any single person, committee, or agency. It will take a collective effort here in Congress and among our regulators to craft a legal framework that will protect the public while safeguarding opportunities for innovation.

"In this effort, there’s plenty of work for our regulatory agencies to do, including the CFTC, the SEC, and our state and federal banking regulators. But it’s up to Congress to divide that work between regulators and ensure our public policy goals are effectively met.

"I’m looking forward to today’s hearing and our ongoing collaboration with the House Financial Services Committee to craft digital asset market structure legislation.

"Thank you."