SEC, CFTC Chiefs Set for Senate Crypto Hearing

The heads of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (SEC) are set to testify on cryptocurrencies during a U.S. Senate hearing next week.

The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs will meet on Feb 6. at 10 a.m. EST, with SEC chief Jay Clayton and CFTC chief J. Christopher Giancarlo set to appear as witnesses. The hearing and the appearances by Clayton and Giancarlo were previously reported by the Washington-based publication The Hill earlier this month.

The hearing – entitled "Virtual Currencies: The Oversight Role of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission" – comes amid a period of heightened activity at both agencies around the topic.

The SEC has filed a number of lawsuits in recent weeks against allegedly fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs), while, as reported yesterday, the CFTC has moved to scrutinize the activities of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and Tether, the closely-linked company behind the controversial USDT token.

Next week's hearing notably follows the publication of a joint op-ed from Clayton and Giancarlo. The article, published by the Wall Street Journal, served as both a pledge to apply closer oversight of the industry as well as a warning to some – particularly those soliciting investments.

"Market participants, including lawyers, trading venues and financial services firms, should be aware that we are disturbed by many examples of form being elevated over substance, with form-based arguments depriving investors of mandatory protections," the two wrote.

The Feb. 6 hearing will be broadcast live online.

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