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U.S. House Committee Publishes Draft Stablecoin Bill

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee published a draft version of a potential landmark stablecoin bill, with proposals including a moratorium on stablecoins backed by other cryptocurrencies and a request to study a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The bill, available on the committee’s hearing page, represents the first major piece of crypto legislation to move in 2023, and follows two key incidents over the past year involving stablecoins: the blowup of terraUSD (UST), which was backed by a token called LUNA, and the second-largest one, USD coin (USDC), temporarily becoming unmoored from $1.

It creates definitions for payment stablecoin issuers, echoing a term former Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) used when he introduced his own stablecoin bill in 2022.

The moratorium on stablecoins like UST would last until a study can be conducted. The bill also seeks a study of the potential impact of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by the Federal Reserve.

Punchbowl News first reported on the bill’s publication.

A House Financial Services subcommittee will hold a hearing on stablecoins on Wednesday, featuring Dante Disparte from Circle Internet Financial, which issues USDC; the Blockchain Association’s Jake Chervinsky; Columbia Professor Austin Campbell and New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne Harris.

That hearing will come a day after the full Financial Services Committee meets to hear from Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler.

A spokesperson for Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), the chair of the committee, told CoinDesk the bill published on the site had been circulating among lawmakers since last fall. (It had not previously been shared with the public.) A spokesperson for Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the committee, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

UPDATE (April 15, 2023, 21:33 UTC): Adds response from a spokesperson for Rep. Patrick McHenry.

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