Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., explained some of the challenges that his new crypto legislation has faced when speaking at the Writing the Rules of Crypto Event hosted by Politico on Sept. 20.

One of the challenges that McHenry and his co-sponsor Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., have faced has been due to the tough timing of an election year. “It’s election year, big policymaking is hard to get done during an election year,” said McHenry.

Reps. McHenry and Waters have been working in a bipartisan manner to create the regulatory backbone for supporting what are known as ‘stablecoins’ which are pegged to the U.S. dollar one-to-one.

“The entry point for lawmaking on Capitol Hill, in the world of crypto, should begin with stablecoins,” McHenry said.

With the need for stablecoins also comes the need to properly flesh out legislation that can become the regulatory bedrock from which such stable coins can grow, according to McHenry.

“We started right before the Fourth of July, and so legislating on something this big and this new, takes a lot of time and rather than going for speed, which, of course is desirable,” McHenry said. “But we are making sure the definitions are right and making sure we understand technology standards and that we’re not overly broad nor too prescriptive, it is a very delicate balance.”

McHenry maintains a cautious hope that his piece of legislation will help the United States drive the innovation that is found at the heart of crypto technology, while deterring would-be criminals from exploiting it.

Currently, such legislation is still being negotiated and a final version of such legislation will presumably be put out for a vote after the midterm elections.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.