A push in Washington to change the US derivatives regulator into a top crypto guardian is acquiring steam with a Senate bill that would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission i.e. CFTC new powers to control the asset class.
CFTC strives to take more power over “Crypto”
The CFTC, whose duty is now mostly confined to crypto derivatives, would get the capacity to police trading in the most extensive digital assets under the plan presented on Wednesday by Democrat Debbie Stabenow and Republican John Boozman.
The legislation supported by the two top members of the Senate Agriculture Committee carries significant weight because their panel handles the regulator. Senators Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, and John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, are also the earliest cosponsors of the bill.
Stabenow said in a statement mentions that one in five Americans have used or traded digital assets but these markets lack the transparency and accountability that they expect from their financial system. Too often, this puts Americans’ hard-earned money at risk, and that’s why they were closing regulatory gaps and mandating that these markets operate under specific rules that protect customers and keep the financial system safe.
Stabenow and Boozman want to advance their bill through the agriculture committee as soon as possible, potentially as early as September.
Crypto executives have been pressing for the CFTC to acquire more power as they oppose SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s opinions that many digital coins are securities under the SEC’s purview.
The new proposal would provide the derivatives regulator with direct administration of tokens that qualify as “digital commodities,” which according to an overview of the plan include the two prominent digital assets bitcoin and Ether.
Rostin Behnam, the chairman of the CFTC, has stated that the agency is well-positioned to take on a more significant role. He adds, that the agency has been working with lawmakers to craft the plan, which is just one of a spate of crypto bills. To become law, it would need multiple votes in the Senate and a version would also be required to pass the US House.
Further, this senator’s bill would direct the CFTC to launch a number of studies.
The regulator would have to write a report on energy consumption and sources used to create and trade digital commodities and publish the conclusions on its website. Democrats have increasingly raised concerns about the amount of electricity utilized in crypto mining and how it might aggravate climate change.
The regulator would also have to study the racial, ethnic, and gender demographics of customers partaking in digital-asset markets to report rulemaking, outreach efforts, and other related activities.
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