Pro-Bitcoin Senator Lummis Proposes New Cryptocurrency Regulator

Senator Cynthia Lummis, a Bitcoin proponent, plans to introduce a bill to give regulators guidance on cryptocurrency.

Creation of new regulatory body for crypto matters

Senator Cynthia Lummis, a member of the Senate Banking Committee and one of only two sitting senators to hold Bitcoin in her portfolio, plans to introduce a bill. The proposal would drastically change the legislative and regulatory landscape for crypto. A report from Bloomberg wrote this today.

According to the report, the bill would create a new regulatory body to handle crypto matters. It would be jointly supervised by the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The bill will also reportedly establish how different types of crypto assets are classified for regulatory purposes, codify crypto tax rules, outline regulations for stablecoin providers, and include consumer protections. Senator Lummis, a Bitcoin advocate, said the following:

“I am optimistic that we will eventually agree on a legal framework for digital assets that will solve many of the long-standing problems. This applies to regulatory jurisdiction, market integrity, self-regulatory organizations and stablecoins.”

Crypto regulation is at a crossroads, with industry, Congress and regulators all saying the industry should be regulated. The parties do not fully agree on how or by whom. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has attempted to consolidate oversight of crypto markets under his agency. He has pointed to the fact that many assets listed on crypto exchanges can likely be classified as securities. This negotiable financial instruments such as stocks and bonds. Meanwhile, CFTC chairman Rostin Behnam has insisted that his agency be given more jurisdiction. He traditionally oversees derivative products such as Bitcoin futures.

No alternative to the banking system

Lummis’s bill isn’t quite a shot in the dark. It is perhaps best viewed as a starting point for legislation rather than a fait accompli. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) is the top Republican member of the Senate Banking Committee. He is the only other senator who has Bitcoin. This is where the bill will likely be submitted for consideration.

The committee, chaired by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), has shown considerable interest in the subject. Earlier this month, she held a hearing entitled “Stablecoins: How Do They Work, How Are They Used, And What Are Their Risks?” In a prepared statement, Senator Brown said:

“Stablecoins and crypto markets are not really an alternative to our banking system. They are a mirror of the same broken system. But with even less accountability and no rules at all.”

It is not yet known whether his colleague from Wyoming will like the proposal.

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