The two agencies are vying for more power over digital assets, causing confusion in Washington over how to classify and regulate cryptocurrencies and the economies that have emerged around them. and Ethereum as commodities, which together make up about two-thirds of the cryptocurrency market.
Bitcoin and Ethereum will then be regulated by the CFTC. Also, online platforms that allow investors to trade digital tokens, such as Coinbase, must be registered with an agency.
Stabenow, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee that oversees the CFTC, said in a statement that the cryptocurrency market “lacks the transparency and accountability” that investors expect from traditional financial markets. “That is why we are closing regulatory gaps and demanding that these markets operate under simple rules that protect customers and keep the financial system safe.”
In addition to Mr. Boozman, the Republican head of the Agriculture Committee, two other committee members, Senators Cory Booker (DN.J.) and John Toone (RS.D.), co-supported the bill. ing.
The bill joins an increasingly crowded field of legislative proposals to regulate the multitrillion-dollar digital asset market. implosion of some famous ciphers project It hit tens of thousands of private investors. Leader of the House Financial Services Committee work It is in talks with the Treasury Department on a bill to put stablecoin issuers under bank-like oversight. discarded We are planning a quick markup later last month on the ongoing differences from the draft.
Senators Cynthia M. Ramis (Republican, Wyoming) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat, New York) announced in June announced What they billed as a comprehensive plan to regulate the industry. Their proposal left the primary responsibility of the industry to the CFTC, but unlike Stabenow and Boozman’s bill, it would be optional for cryptocurrency exchanges to register as agents.
Both bills would allow the CFTC to assess fees for cryptocurrency industry players and expand their budgets. About one-sixth the size of the SEC, the agency is already tasked with overseeing a range of financial markets, from grain and oil futures to more complex commodities.
For months, cryptocurrency stakeholders have been lobbying lawmakers to empower the CFTC as the supreme regulator. They say regulators will give them more friendly treatment than the SEC, whose chairman Gary Gensler has taken an aggressive public stance on the industry.
Similarly, CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam has advocated for a larger role for his agency.and speech At the Brookings Institution last month, as the cryptocurrency market rapidly evolved, federal and state regulators’ shared responsibility in a “patchwork blanket” approach “has proven increasingly inadequate.” ” he said.
An SEC spokeswoman declined to comment on the bill. The CFTC did not respond to requests for comment.
Todd Phillips, director of financial regulation and corporate governance at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, called Stabenow-Boozman’s proposal “a great piece of legislation.”
“It provides a regulatory structure around cryptocurrencies without taking power away from other bodies like the SEC,” he said in an interview. “We will set the framework for this market to specifically require the registration and regulation of brokers, put in place investor protection rules and prevent investors from being exploited.”