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Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/100239928@N08/

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/100239928@N08/

In what is likely to be seen as a step towards increased U.S. regulation of virtual currencies, the Chairman of the US Senate’s Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), Senator Tom Carper (D-Del), endorsed the creation of task force on the topic by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. The “Emerging Payments Task Force” will study the potential and real impacts of cryptocurrencies and other alternative and digital payments systems on the banking industry infrastructure, and examine the related consumer protection issues.

Sen. Carper was quoted on CoinDesk saying that the task force was needed to ensure that state governments “are adequately protecting consumers and addressing lawbreakers without hindering innovation.”

According to the CSBS press release:

The Task Force will take a comprehensive approach to studying the changing payment systems, including virtual currencies and other innovations. The Task Force will engage with a broad range of stakeholders – including fellow state regulators, federal regulators, industry participants, and other experts – to understand how new entrants and technologies affect the stability of payment systems and the broader financial marketplace and to develop ideas for connecting the emerging payments landscape to the financial regulatory fabric.

The CSBS task force will include representatives from nine states, including New York regulator Benjamin Lawsky. The task force’s conclusions, while not binding in and of themselves, are likely to be immensely influential in future regulation of virtual currencies at the state and federal levels.

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