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AG Notes

Press Release | 115th Congress
House Seal

Peterson Statement at Hearing on Oversight of Cryptocurrencies

July 18, 2018

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee hearing, “Cryptocurrencies: Oversight of New Assets in the Digital Age:”

“Thank you all for joining us here today. I’m happy that we’ve got a chance to review this new technology, and our role in overseeing the CFTC’s regulation of it, because as a CPA and someone who spent a career helping folks run the numbers on their finances, I have some real concerns.

“One trait of cryptocurrency that we need to pay special attention to is its volatility. There are some of you that will tell us that the fluctuations in cryptocurrency are a good thing, and part of its appeal. But the increased speculation and the fact that regular investors stand to lose their shirts gives me a great deal of concern. As one study found, over 80 percent of initial coin offerings are scams. While regular investors stand to lose, a very small number stand to gain. For example, 97 percent of bitcoin is held by just 4 percent of participants in the cryptocurrency.

“There’s a lot of things here that don’t make much sense to me, and who knows, maybe some type of this technology will come along and really make a difference after these fits and starts. But as it stands right now, I’m skeptical. It’s our job to be the adults in the room, and to ensure that in these early days, there is enough oversight of this new frontier to ensure that it can grow responsibly.

“I look forward to your testimony and I yield back.”