The subcommittee on monetary policy and trade of the US Congress held hearings on digital currencies. Cryptocurrencies are innovative asset that needs to be regulated, but it should be done carefully, the hearings come to such a conclusion.

The main topic of the hearings, that took place on 18 July, was the use and potential risks affiliated with virtual assets in the US and the world as a whole. In particular, the subcommittee discussed possible launch of a cryptocurrency issued by central banks.

Alex Pollock, senior fellow at the R Street Institute, argued that “to have a central bank digital currency is one of the worst financial ideas of recent times, but still it’s quite conceivable...” Pollock said that central bank digital currencies would only increase the size, role, and power of the bank, adding that the Federal Reserve adopting a CBDC would result in it become the “overwhelming credit allocator of the U.S. economic and financial system,” and the work of such a center will be highly politicized.

Norbert Michel, director for the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, noted that there is a need for a balanced attitude of regulators to cryptocurrencies and innovative industry.

"Yes it is true that criminals have used bitcoin, but it's also true that criminals have used airplanes, computers, and automobiles. We shouldn't criminalize any of those instruments simply because criminals used them," he said.

At the same time, there was sharp criticism of cryptocurrencies, in particular, from the representative of the Democratic Party Brad Sherman.

"We should prohibit U.S. persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies," the California Democrat declared. He added that, beyond cryptocurrencies being potentially used as a form of money in the future, it can currently be used by tax evaders. Furthermore, they are already being used to circumvent US sanctions.

One of the key findings of the hearings was the recognition that the token can change its legal status at various stages of existence. During ICO, it looks like an investment contract, and after the launch of decentralized platforms it can become both a utility-token and an exchange commodity.