"We believe transparency is a critical, first step to achieving racial and gender equity."
The letter is signed by Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill. and Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass. Ms. Beatty chairs the Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, which was the first of its kind to be established in Congress, according to the committee's news release.
The letter is addressed to companies including Binance.US, a cryptocurrency exchange for U.S. investors, Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange platform, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and Tether, a cryptocurrency stablecoin.
It asks for the companies to complete a questionnaire about their policies during the calendar year of 2021 and says responses must be received by Sept. 2.
If data is unclear or missing, the letter said committee staff members would reach out to the companies in order to update the submission.
The letter comes at a rocky time for cryptocurrency prices, with bitcoin falling some 51.4% year to date through Aug. 4.
The committee published a report in February 2020 called "Diversity and Inclusion: Holding America's Large Banks Accountable" and another in December called "Diversity and Inclusion: Holding America's Largest Investment Firms Accountable."
According to the lawmakers' letter, "Both reports concluded that there is still much work to be done to increase diversity and inclusion within these industries."