The president of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the United States, Gary Gensler, is in talks with officials of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to prepare a “memorandum of understanding” on the regulation of digital assets. Together, the agencies can ensure market integrity, Gensler told The Financial Times in an interview published on Thursday. “I’m talking about an exchange rulebook that protects all trades regardless of pair – [sea] a security token against a security token, a security token against a commodity token, a commodity token against a commodity token”, Gensler told the newspaper.
Gensler’s desire to collaborate comes at a time when several legislative initiatives have been introduced to create a more comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets. The Digital Commodity Exchange Act, introduced in its latest version in April, and the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, introduced in June, give the CFTC greater authority over the market.
Debbie Stabenow, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees the CFTC, and the committee’s ranking member, John Boozman, are also drafting a crypto regulation bill, which is expected to expand the powers of the CFTC. Gensler, who led the CFTC from 2009 to 2013, has expressed skepticism about changes to the status quo.
The SEC has taken the lead in regulating cryptocurrencies so far, but frequently to dissatisfaction of the sector and legislators, criticizing its methods of alleged regulation through the app. Cryptocurrency industry leaders have explicitly called for clearer regulation, and SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has pushed for policy changes within the commission.
Regulation is not just a matter of authority. The Financial Times quotes blockchain analytics firm Elliptic as saying that US regulators have raised $3.35 billion through control actions in the cryptocurrency industry over the years, with more than 70% of that sum going to the SEC.
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