CFTC Commissioners Welcome Bipartisan Digital Asset Legislation

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of US Senators announced legislation designed to give certain digital assets better regulatory clarity. Senators Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and John Boozman, Ranking Member, along with Senators Cory Booker and John Thune, have joined to craft the language of the bill.

The Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022 aims to provide the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) new tools to regulate digital commodities. This will include Bitcoin and Ethereum and as the complete text of the legislation was not immediately available it is not clear as to which other digital assets the legislation may address.

Two CFTC Commissioners have subsequently welcomed the new legislation.

Commissioner Kristin Johnson issued the following statement:

“I thank Chairwoman Stabenow, Ranking Member Boozman, and co-sponsors Senators Cory Booker and John Thune for their introduction of thoughtful legislation that aims to improve the oversight of digital asset markets, the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022.  In order for the industry to thrive and fulfill its promise, digital asset markets must integrate stronger investor protections and robust market integrity safeguards.  The CFTC, as part of the complement of federal and state regulators, has an important role to play in the oversight of these markets.  I look forward to working with Congress, my colleagues at the CFTC, and my fellow regulators to develop a regulatory infrastructure that achieves effective customer protections and market integrity safeguards.”

CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam joined in expressing his support of the bill:

“As American investors continue to demonstrate growing interest in digital assets, there is a greater need to bring these markets within the regulatory fold.  We are at a critical inflection point where new legislative authority is needed to clarify ambiguities and provide a regulatory framework to the digital commodity market that protects customers, provides market integrity and certainty, and ensures financial stability.”

Behman commended both Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Boozman for introducing bipartisan legislation.

“I look forward to working with the Congress as legislation continues to progress.”

Meanwhile, there is another bill making the rounds on Capitol Hill, the Lummis- Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act. This legislation is more comprehensive as it address regulatory oversight by the CFTC as well as other federal agencies.

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