U.S. Lawmakers Urge SEC and CFTC to Create Joint Working Group on Crypto Regulation
U.S. Representatives Glenn “G.T.” Thompson and Patrick McHenry conveyed a letter to Gary Gensler (the chairman of the SEC) and Rostin Behnam (the acting chairman of the CFTC) on cryptocurrency regulation.
While the representative Glenn “G.T.” Thompson is the ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture, Patrick McHenry is the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee.
Their letter references Gary Gensler’s remarks directed at Senator Elizabeth Warren. Gensler stated that the oversight of the cryptocurrency market necessitates “additional authorities” and “resources.” One of the letter writers, McHenry, also raised his concerns when Gensler wanted jurisdiction over all cryptocurrency exchanges (also for non-securities ones). McHenry stated that it is “a blatant power grab that will hurt American innovation.”
Thompson and McHenry stated in their letter:
“Rather than regulate innovation and job creation out of this nation, we must always promote an energetic dialogue between regulators and market participants […]. An open and collaborative dialogue with all related businesses, stakeholders, and market participants is important.”
“This is the goal of H.R. 1602, the Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in April.”
The two lawmakers elaborated on H.R. 1602, which is a bipartisan act that demands that the CFTC and SEC “establish a joint working group on digital assets with market participants, organizations involved in academic research, and investor protection organizations, among others.” They stressed that nothing under existing law prevents the two institutions from collaborating:
“A working group on digital assets would enable both the SEC and CFTC to explore how to use their current jurisdiction cooperatively effectively.”
Currently, the SEC has jurisdiction over all securities that are related to cryptocurrency, including trade exchanges. CFTC, on the other hand, claims jurisdiction only over crypto tokens that are considered commodities. A commissioner from CFTC recently elaborated on this:
“Just so we’re all clear here, the SEC has no authority over pure commodities or their trading venues, whether those commodities are wheat, gold, oil […] or crypto assets.”
The letter, which has been sent to the two institutions by the U.S. lawmakers Thompson and McHenry, ends as such:
“We request a response from you and your fellow commissioners describing the ways the SEC and CFTC plan to work together on these critical issues.”
What do you think about the letter by U.S. representatives Glenn “G.T.” Thompson and Patrick McHenry? Share your ideas in the comments section!