Coinbase, Robinhood, and the CFTC will testify before Congress about a proposed crypto bill

By: Henry Felix

Coinbase, Robinhood, and the CFTC will testify before Congress about a proposed crypto bill

June 6, 2023 8:58 AM

Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal repeated that the "US is falling behind" and risks losing employment, innovation, and investment to other countries.

Coinbase, Robinhood, and executives from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission are scheduled to appear before Congress on June 6 to discuss a newly proposed crypto bill. 

The trio will discuss their organizations' perspectives on a proposed bill that might classify certain cryptocurrencies as digital commodities, among other things.

According to a statement made by Coinbase on June 5, Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal will be appearing before the House Committee on Agriculture the following day to "share Coinbase's views on the Digital Asset Market Structure Discussion Draft [...] released last week."


Chris Giancarlo, a former CFTC chair, Dan Berkvitz, a former CFTC commissioner, and Walt Lukken, the creator of FIAconnect, are among the other witnesses.

Grewal provided an outline of his testimony in a June 5 Twitter discussion.

"The United States is falling behind." We cannot afford to ignore crypto while other markets profit from our absence, adopting rules and regulations that allow the business to thrive while risking shipping employment, investment, and technological leadership offshore," Grewal said, adding:

"To realize the full potential of cryptocurrency, we need a clear set of rules in the United States." We will not be able to exploit the full potential of making our financial system faster, fairer, and more inexpensive until rules and legislation that reflect the realities of this new economic system are adopted."

Grewal will also express his support for the planned crypto bill, which he describes as "a strong step forward in providing long-overdue regulatory clarity."


On June 2nd, the Digital Asset Market Structure Discussion Draft was published→ as part of an effort by Republican congressmen Patrick McHenry and Glenn Thompson to create a "statutory framework for digital asset regulation wanted to provide clarity, fill regulatory voids, and foster creativity, while providing adequate consumer protections."

Grewal praised the draft, calling it a "thoughtful effort" that constitutes "a major step forward," and urging "lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to work together and act as soon as possible."

"By addressing the CFTC's and the SEC's respective responsibilities, the Discussion Draft expands upon preexisting regulatory frameworks while giving due consideration to the special characteristics and potential uses of digital assets. It would also give Congress much-needed authority and advice to allow our financial system to evolve."

The steps appear to be in keeping with Coinbase's long-standing desire for more precise regulatory requirements for the crypto sector, and they come only a day after competitor crypto exchange Binance was hit with 13 accusations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

He claims in his evidence summary that "digital assets do not collectively fit into any single existing administrative box: some are commodities, some are securities, some are neither, and some simply don't map onto current categories."

More than 20% of U.S. adults are crypto holders, and Grewal argues that this level of adoption necessitates a legislative framework to safeguard users while allowing the most important applications of blockchain to flourish.