US Senate Finance Committee Chair Urges Caution on Crypto Rules

Cryptocurrency regulations

The chairman of the United States Senate Finance Committee is urging fellow Democrats to protect cryptocurrency innovators.

In an interview with The Financial Times, Sen. Ron Wyden warned regulators not to diminish innovation in digital finance as the Biden administration considers rules for the unregulated sector.

“There is obviously a debate [about stricter regulation], but I want to be on the side of the innovator,” the Oregon Democrat told the news outlet. “I keep looking for innovations. That’s where my heart lies.”

As one of the architects of nation’s internet regulation, Wyden advised members of his party to protect the burgeoning industry despite concerns about money laundering and fraud.

Wyden has rejected efforts to amend Section 230, the controversial regulation that opponents say provides too much protection for websites from lawsuits if a user posts something illegal.

“Why don’t we just say the person who produces the contents [is] the person we’re gonna hold responsible?” he said. “I thought that was the right way to go then and I still do.”

His comments fit with what six cryptocurrency executives told the U.S. House Financial Services Committee in December. They argued that overregulation could send cryptocurrency activity underground or outside the U.S. if the new rules it imposes on the industry are too strict.

Related: Crypto Companies Warn Congress Against Imposing ‘Chilling’ Regulations

Alesia Haas, chief executive of Coinbase, told lawmakers that without tailored legislative solutions that are publicly debated, the U.S. risks unnecessarily onerous and chilling laws and regulations.

Bitfury CEO Brian Brooks said there are a number of examples of U.S. regulatory decisions that have driven legitimate activity offshore in ways that harm investors, innovators, and workers.

“There is a reason why crypto talent is no longer concentrated in Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the original commercial internet,” he said.