Rep. Maxine Waters says all US regulators ‘better get together on crypto’

California Representative Maxine Waters, ranking member of the United States House Financial Services Committee, has called for coordination and cooperation between government agencies and lawmakers to address crypto regulation.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Representative Waters suggested that recent enforcement actions on the crypto space from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) may have been to present the image of “doing something substantive and meaningful” following the collapse of major exchanges including FTX. According to Waters, the market crash and related bankruptcies of major firms gave U.S. lawmakers an opportunity of “getting accountability” in the crypto space.

“To the CFTC and to the SEC: I am not going to get in between any disagreement, any dislike, any of the approaches – the two of you had better come together so that we can deal with crypto,” said Waters. “I think it’s time for the Treasury, the Feds, the CFTC, the SEC, all of us better get together on crypto.”

When Waters chaired the House Financial Services Committee, she supported a bill to regulate stablecoins in cooperation with the Treasury Department, telling Cointelegraph she was “still optimistic” such legislation could pass under chair Patrick McHenry. She added that bringing regulatory clarity to the space – seemingly in an effort to bring additional guidance on enforcement actions – was one of her legislative priorities in the new Congress.

“The world is moving on crypto: different countries, different things we still have to think about,” said Waters. “I do believe that […] it has to be a priority of ours.”

Representative Maxine Waters addressing lawmakers on Feb. 6

The Congresswoman was one of the lawmakers who called on former FTX chief executive officer Sam Bankman-Fried to testify in a December 2022 hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. Authorities detained Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas before he could appear remotely before Congress. 

At the time of publication, the committee had not announced another hearing into the collapse of FTX or related events in the crypto space. However, Representative Waters said she was “confident” there would be more than one hearing exploring crypto regulation as part of the current congressional session.

“I have a lot of questions that I and members of my committee would want to ask [Bankman-Fried],” said Waters. “I want to go over the relationship between FTX and Alameda and exactly how much money they funneled into Alameda and what kind of investments were made and what was his relationship to those investments […] did he know and understand that he was committing fraud?”

Related: FTX hearing: US lawmakers criticize use of Quickbooks, creepy dough and ‘conscientious stupidity’

Many in the crypto space have criticized Waters for politically ‘cosying up’ to Bankman-Fried in a December 2021 hearing, later posing with the then FTX CEO in a now viral photo. The Congresswoman denied rumors she accepted campaign donations from FTX, saying she had “not received one dime, not one penny” and had no relationship on contributions from the exchange.

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