You are here: Home » Markets » Cryptocurrency » news
Business Standard

US: New cryptocurrency oversight legislation arrives as industry shakes

The regulations would authorize the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to be the default regulator for cryptocurrencies

Topics
cryptocurrency | Regulations | United States

AP | PTI  |  Washington 

Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday proposed a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies, the latest attempt by Congress to formulate ideas on how to oversee a multibillion-dollar industry that has been racked by collapsing prices and lenders halting operations.

The offered by Senate Agriculture Committee chair Debbie Stabenow and top Republican member John Boozman would authorize the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to be the default regulator for cryptocurrencies. That would be in contrast with bills proposed by other members of Congress and consumer advocates, who have suggested giving the authority to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This year, crypto investors have seen prices plunge and companies crater with fortunes and jobs disappearing overnight, and some firms have been accused by federal regulators of running an illegal securities exchange. Bitcoin, the largest digital asset, trades at a fraction of its all-time high, down from more than $68,000 in November 2021 to about $23,000 on Wednesday. Industry leaders have referred to this period as a crypto winter, and lawmakers have been desperate to implement stringent oversight.

The bill by Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan, and Boozman, of Arkansas, would require all platforms including traders, dealers, brokers and sites that hold crypto for customers to register with the CFTC.

The CFTC is historically an underfunded and much smaller regulator than the SEC, which has armies of investigators to look at potential wrongdoing. The bill attempts to alleviate these issues by imposing on the crypto industry user fees, which in turn would fund more robust supervision of the industry by the CFTC.

"Our bill will empower the CFTC with exclusive jurisdiction over the digital commodities spot market, which will lead to more safeguards for consumers, market integrity and innovation in the digital commodities space, Boozman said in a statement.

Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and John Thune, R-S.D., are co-sponsors of the bill.

"It's critical that the (CFTC) has the proper tools to regulate this growing market, Thune said.

The legislation can be added to the list of proposals that have come out of Congress this year.

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., in April introduced legislation, called the Stablecoin TRUST Act, that would create a framework to regulate stablecoins, which have seen massive losses this year. Stablecoins are a type of pegged to a specific value, usually the U.S. dollar, another currency or gold.

Additionally, in June, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., proposed a wide-ranging bill, called the Responsible Financial Innovation Act. That bill proposed legal definitions of digital assets and virtual currencies; would require the IRS to adopt guidance on merchant acceptance of digital assets and charitable contributions; and would make a distinction between digital assets that are commodities and those that are securities, which has not been done.

Along with the Toomey legislation and the Lummis-Gillibrand legislation, a proposal is being worked out in the House Financial Services Committee, though those negotiations have stalled.

Committee chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said last month that while she, top Republican member Patrick McHenry of North Carolina and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen had made considerable progress toward an agreement on the legislation, "we are unfortunately not there yet, and will therefore continue our negotiations over the August recess.

President Joe Biden's working group on financial markets last November issued a report calling on Congress to pass legislation that would regulate stablecoins, and Biden earlier this year issued an executive order calling on a variety of agencies to look at ways to regulate digital assets.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, August 03 2022. 21:54 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.