New crypto bill could give CFTC new impetus in quest to regulate digital assets

New crypto bill could give CFTC new impetus in quest to regulate digital assets

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The crypto industry has spent millions of dollars lobbying the US Congress in recent months as it seeks to shape the regulation of digital assets, and it appears the spending has paid off.

The industry has long hoped that the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission will be granted primary authority to oversee digital assets, and the US Senate seems eager to do so, following the announcement that the leading Democrat and Republican of the Senate Agriculture Committee plans to submit legislation. to expand the role of the regulator in the crypto markets.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, a Democrat, and Senator John Bozeman of Arkansas, the committee’s ranking Republican, plan to submit legislation that will designate the CFTC as the primary crypto regulator. , Politico reported on Friday.

The bill echoes another bipartisan framework released earlier this week by Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, which also seeks to give the CFTC jurisdiction over crypto.

Read more: Bipartisan crypto bill would require CFTC to oversee bitcoin, ether and most other digital assets

“Recent events underscore the need for mandatory regulation of the crypto market,” Stabenow told the paper, following the recent steep price decline of popular crypto assets like bitcoin BTCUSD,
-2.52%
and ether ETHUSD,
-3.43%
and the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin.

“It is critical that the CFTC has the proper tools to make this emerging market safe for customers,” she added. “My committee has looked at the risks and the importance of common sense regulations, and I’m working closely with Ranking Member Boozman on what a responsible regulatory framework would look like.”

CFTC Chairman Rostin Benham previously served as senior counsel for Senator Stabenow and has actively courted the role of chief crypto regulator, arguing that the most popular cryptos behave much more like commodities like wheat or oil. than like securities like shares in a company.

He argued that digital assets like bitcoin are “decentralized stores of value” and that there is no “information gap” that needs to be resolved for an investor to buy and sell such assets. confidently active, in an interview Tuesday with The Washington Post.

“It’s pretty clear that many digital assets themselves replicate or look like commodities,” he said, while adding that there are probably hundreds of smaller cryptocurrencies out there that behave like commodities. securities and should therefore be supervised by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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