The United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services plans will question the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) about, among other topics, cryptocurrencies and Facebook’s Libra.
The House of Representatives published a calendar notice, which states that the Committee on Financial Services will be holding a hearing, called “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission: Wall Street’s Cop on the Beat”, on 24 September. The witnesses at this one panel hearing will be the SEC’s Chairman Jay Clayton, as well as Commissioners Robert Jackson, Elad Roisman, Allison Lee and Hester Pierce (a.k.a. Crypto Mom).
The hearing will cover topics such as the SEC’s actions in regards to public company disclosures, enforcement, fiduciary responsibilities, private markets vs. public markets, and the cryptocurrency space. Even though the memorandum does not specify the areas the committee will focus on, it does state that the SEC has published its analysis of tokens and investment contracts, as well as a general definition of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF).
“Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) are a type of investment company, which can be redeemed by the fund like mutual funds, but also allow investors to trade throughout the day on an exchange at market prices. If an asset is an investment company and not exempt from registration, it must comply with regulations designed to minimize conflicts of interest, including regular disclosure of their financial condition and investment policies to investors.”
The memorandum also includes cryptocurrencies on its list of topics for discussion, whether they are security or exempt from the securities law, and Facebook’s Libra. This will not be the first time the Committee will discuss Facebook’s planned stablecoin. A hearing was held in July, where the committee questioned David Marcus, Facebook’s blockchain lead, on how the project would operate, and if it could impact the U.S. economy.
This time the hearing will touch upon the Libra Investment Token, which will be distributed to members of the Libra association, and if it will be regarded as a security. The memorandum reads:
“The Libra Investment Token could amount to a security since it is intended to be sold to investors to fund startup costs and would provide them with dividends. The Libra token itself may also be a security, but Facebook does not intend to pay dividends and it is unclear if investors would have a ‘reasonable expectation of profits.’ However, the offer of Libra could be integrated into the offering of the Libra Investment Token, thereby deeming both securities.”