Legislation calls on CFTC to help craft effective crypto rules

Newly submitted legislation in Congress seeks to push the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to create reports to bring more clarity to digital asset markets.

Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) introduced the two bills yesterday, co-sponsored by Reps. Ted Budd (R-NC), Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Warren Davidson (R-OH). The co-sponsors are all members of the Blockchain Caucus, a coalition of lawmakers focused on digital asset issues.  

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) also co-sponsored the first of the two pieces, the so-called U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2021. It directs the CFTC to produce a study comparing the regulation of virtual currencies around the world, and eventually make recommendations to how regulatory structures in the U.S. can promote competition and innovation in the digital asset space. 

The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2021 directs the CFTC to produce a report specifically on price manipulation in virtual asset markets and include recommendations for regulation that could mitigate any found issues.

This isn't the first time Congress has seen of the two bills. The bills have been introduced in the past two Congressional sessions and have "had success through the appropriations process," according to Soto's announcement. The dialogue surrounding these bills brought about LABCFTC funding and a CFTC report on its role related to virtual currencies. 

The CFTC does appear to be gearing up to take a look at its dealings with digital assets. Commissioner Dawn Stump released an Aug. 23 statement detailing the CFTC's role in regulating digital assets in an effort to dispel misunderstandings about the agency's powers.

Meanwhile, Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler has been vocal about the need for SEC oversight in crypto markets, identifying multiple crypto exchanges as securities exchanges.