Mr. Hickenlooper added that bipartisanship helps the public navigate complicated topics such as cryptocurrency, and "I think that's what allows our society to change, to innovate, to find better ways of doing things," he said.
Last Congress, lawmakers introduced several bills aimed at regulating cryptocurrency but were ultimately unable to come to an agreement. One issue that continues to plague the regulatory landscape is whether authority over the industry should go to the Securities and Exchange Commission or Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
When asked for his thoughts on which agency should have authority, Mr. Tillis said "that's still up in the air."
"I, right now, do not have a lot of confidence in the SEC, particularly with some of the rapid rule-making and number of other things," Mr. Tillis added.
GOP lawmakers have criticized the SEC for various reasons, including the agency's approach to regulating cryptocurrency. At the first hearing for the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion March 9, several Republicans expressed doubt regarding Chairman Gary Gensler's claims that cryptocurrency firms can simply "come in and register" with the SEC.
Mr. Hickenlooper acknowledged "there is an obvious divergence of views between the two parties" on whether cryptocurrency should be regulated by the SEC or CFTC. Regardless of which agency is chosen, "there's going to have to be guardrails around the … authority we give it so that both sides can be comfortable," he said.
In October, Mr. Hickenlooper called on the SEC to take more initiative in regulating cryptocurrency. In a letter to Mr. Gensler, Mr. Hickenlooper specifically called for the agency to regulate digital asset securities "through a transparent notice-and-comment regulatory process."
Mr. Tillis said his staff is working with other Senate offices right now to filter ideas on how to regulate the industry and figure out which are worth including in a bipartisan bill.
"We're completing that inventory now and hope to share it over the next couple of weeks," Mr. Tillis said.