Two U.S. lawmakers urged the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the interim chairman of the Commission on Futures Trading (CFTC) to establish a joint working group to regulate cryptocurrencies.
SEC and CFTC Urged to Collaborate on Cryptographic Regulation
U.S. Representatives Patrick McHenry and Glenn “GT” Thompson sent a letter to SEC President Gary Gensler and interim CFTC President Rostin Behnam on Monday about cryptocurrency.
McHenry is the chief member of the House Financial Services Committee while Thompson is the chief member of the House Agriculture Committee.
The letter begins by referencing Gensler’s comments to Senator Elizabeth Warren stating that “additional authorities” and “resources” are needed for the oversight of the crypto industry. McHenry has previously expressed concerns that Gensler wants jurisdiction over all crypto exchanges, including non-securities, to be “an obvious power that will hurt American innovation.”
The letter to Gensler and Behnam says:
Instead of regulating innovation and employment outside this country, we need to promote an active dialogue between regulators and market participants … An open and cooperative dialogue with all relevant agencies, stakeholders and market participants is critical.
McHenry and Thompson explained, “This is the goal of HR 1602, the 2021 Innovation Barriers Removal Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in April.”
HR 1602 is a bipartisan action that requires the SEC and CFTC to “establish a joint working group on digital assets with market participants, organizations involved in academic research, and investor protection organizations, among others,” the two lawmakers detailed. They stressed that nothing prevents the two agencies from creating a working group under existing law.
“A working group on digital assets would enable the SEC and CFTC to investigate how to effectively use their current jurisdiction collaboratively,” the letter adds.
While the SEC claims jurisdiction over all crypto-related securities, including exchanges that exchange them, the CFTC has jurisdiction over crypto assets that are considered commodities. A CFTC commissioner explained earlier this month: “Just to make it clear to all of us here, the SEC has no authority over pure commodities or their commercial locations, whether those commodities are wheat, gold, oil …. or cryptocurrencies. “
The letter from the legislators to the two agencies concludes:
We request a response from you and your co-commissioners describing the ways the SEC and CFTC plan to cooperate on these critical issues.
What do you think of Rep. McHenry and Thompson? Let us know in the comments section below.
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