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Senators Present Bill to Add Regulations to the Cryptocurrency Sector

Senadores presentan proyecto para sumar regulaciones al sector de criptomonedas

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Direct from the Senate Agriculture Committee, a new bill introduced by Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) to add regulations to the cryptocurrency sector was born. Specifically, it will give more preponderance to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

At issue is the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022,  a bipartisan effort to establish a legal definition of “digital commodities,” include bitcoin in it, and bring their respective exchanges under the jurisdiction of the aforementioned independent agency.

As reported by The Block, this classification could cover digital currencies such as bitcoin or ether, although it would exclude “certain financial instruments, including securities. This suggests that, while the law appears to make an attempt at systematization in the classification of securities or commodities, it could leave the debate open.”

“One in five Americans have used or traded digital assets—but these markets lack the transparency and accountability that they expect from our financial system. Too often, this puts Americans’ hard-earned money at risk. That’s why we are closing regulatory gaps and requiring that these markets operate under straightforward rules that protect customers and keep our financial system safe,” Stabenow said in a statement.

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Bill seeks to “safeguard” those who use cryptocurrencies

The text also details that “crypto” trading platforms will also be required to register with the CFTC and submit under the same standards as commodities. In addition, exchanges will be required to be monitored and the corresponding data published. This is intended, say the project’s promoters, to protect investors from fraud or abuse.

In other words, traders will have to keep records of all transactions and provide the information to the Commission in a timely manner upon request. The bill will also instruct the CFTC to study the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies, with the aim of generating public policy in this regard.

It should be noted that, so far, there is no federal legislation defining the oversight of cryptocurrencies, so currently that task falls to the states. The bill was also joined by Senators Corey Booker (D-NY) and John Thune (R-SD).

“This fast-growing industry is currently governed largely by a patchwork of regulations at the state level. That simply is not an effective way to protect consumers from fraud. Furthermore, relying solely on state regulation does not ensure that rules and regulations work for all stakeholders. Our bill will empower the CFTC with exclusive jurisdiction over the digital commodities spot market, which will lead to more safeguards for consumers, market integrity, and innovation in the digital commodities space,” Senator Boozman said of his bill.

Joaquín Núñez es hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda y licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política norteamericana // Joaquín Núñez is a fan of Avellaneda's Racing Club and has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and American politics.

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