Global Digital Finance (GDF), a UK-based entity advocating on behalf of the digital asset (or crypto-asset) sector of Fintech, has posted a letter in support of the Eliminate Barriers to Digital Innovation Act of 2021 (HR 1602).
The Act was sponsored by US Representative Patrick McHenry, ranking minority member on the House Financial Services Committee. Introduced into the legislative process in March, the Act garnered several co-sponsors including Representatives Stephen Lynch, Glenn Thompson, Ted Budd, and Warren Davidson. The legislation seeks to clarify the treatment of digital assets on a regulatory basis. According to the language of the bill, if enacted, both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Future Trading Commission (CFTC) will be required to create a working group to tackle the difficult issues challenging the digital asset industry in the US.
In a release, GDF noted the recent comments by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler in regards to providing regulation for crypto exchanges. GDF states that it supports greater clarity for digital assets including trading venues and stands ready to assist. GDF members believe that the single biggest challenge impeding digital asset sector growth is the opaque regulatory treatment currently in existence.
Carl Schonander, Director of Americas Regulatory Affairs at GDF, issued the following statement:
“High-level legislative and regulatory attention to U.S. digital assets market development is welcome. Lawmakers and regulators should take care to promote investor protection and support for this maturing, but in many ways still nascent, industry. GDF principles and codes are a resource for legislators and regulators as they consider possibilities.”
The letter from GDF is addressed to Representatives McHenry and Lynch, stating:
“There is already a significant amount of regulatory cooperation in many of the major markets, which sends the right signals to the global community about regulatory certainty, and a managed approach to emerging policies and regulation for virtual assets. … Should the Act become law, it could provide additional impetus for building on this collaboration. The proposal to create a joint Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Working Group could help to lay the foundation for a more unified U.S. regulatory posture with respect to the digital assets industry, and GDF fully supports this. The report that the Working Group would be tasked with developing could provide the specific recommendations needed to solidify the United States’ leading fintech role. The key here will be to solicit information from stakeholders regarding where additional clarity is needed to safely and securely promote the digital assets industry to the benefit of all citizens and businesses.”
GDF adds that if the Act becomes law and a working group is established, it will seek to become a “stakeholder representative” on the group. Simultaneously, GDF suggests a Congressional event to discuss the importance of US digital asset regulation.
SEC Commissioner Gensler, a Democrat appointee, has already indicated his desire to work with Congress on creating a better regulatory approach for crypto. The bill was recently moved to the Senate Banking Committee – the next step in the legislative process.