Maxine Waters represents California’s 43rd congressional district in the U.S. Congress. She announced that she had organized a group of Democratic legislators to take a deep dive into the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies.
In a June 15 virtual hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Financial Technology, Waters acknowledged that cryptos and other digital assets were a major issue for the House Financial Services Committee, for which she is the chairperson. She added:
“As cryptocurrencies grow exponentially, I’ve organized a working group of Democratic members to engage with regulators and experts to do a deep dive on this poorly understood and minimally regulated industry.”
Previously, Waters has spoken in several other hearings on her worries about the digital currency industry. In 2019, she tried to stop Facebook’s Diem token project that was known as Libra at the time. She wanted it stopped “until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action.”
Her remarks come amid many US legislators speaking harshly about crypto after a series of ransomware attacks on major infrastructure around the country. In May, Colonial Pipeline was forced to pay $4.4 million to hackers in cryptocurrency after a ransomware attack on most of its systems. A government task force then managed to recover over $2 million of these funds.
The role of cryptocurrency as a national security issue in ransomware attacks has become a growing concern for the country. President Joe Biden is expected to speak directly on this subject when he meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16, 2021. The White House has already issued a statement naming virtual currency as contributing to the ‘malicious cyber activities.’