Stablecoin Legislative Consensus in Sight, But from a Distance

Despite fierce partisan fighting over pending Fed nominations, today’s Senate Banking hearing on stablecoin regulation was considerably more bipartisan that last week’s HFSC session (see Client Report CRYPTO24).  Both Chairman Brown (D-OH) and Ranking Member Toomey (R-PA) are in broad agreement on a two-tier structure in which stablecoins are issued either by banks or by nonbanks subject to strict reserve-asset, AML, and related regulation.  That said, we think it may prove difficult for Democrats and Republicans to agree on key details in the construct of a U.S. private stablecoin regime, with the thorniest issue likely to prove the extent to which the federal construct preempts state regulation.  Further, Sen. Brown signaled that there will be more stablecoin hearings before any action occurs, making it unlikely that time will permit resolution of outstanding differences of opinion within the Senate and then with the House before the end of this session.