FTX actions 'were illegal 100 years ago,' says Rep. Auchincloss

Quick Take

  • Congressman Auchincloss said that FTX actions may have violated rules that already exist in the U.S., regardless of the technology. 

Congressman Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., rejected the urgency for new crypto legislation in response to the collapse of FTX last week.

“The disaster with FTX is just another exclamation point around the need for U.S. clear consistent predictable legislation," Auchincloss said. "The crimes FTX were committing were not some tech-specific, wiz-bang, 2022-era set of crimes. They were illegal 100 years ago. You can't do that.” 

The role of venture capitalists and private investors pouring money into crypto startups without performing independent due diligence also drew Auchincloss' criticism. “If you’re putting money down you should be getting open books in return,” he said.

Congress has reacted strongly to the failure of FTX, partially as a result of that company's ubiquitous presence in Washington, D.C. The line of questioning was in response to growing alarm within Congress and calls for urgent legislation.

Auchincloss was speaking at an event hosted by the Blockchain Association. He began by saying: “My job is not to be a champion or a booster for the industry.”

Anticipated legislation 

Auchincloss, a moderate Democrat, also sits on the House Financial Services Committee, which has been working on legislation focusing on stablecoins.

He further addressed the status of partisan lock on crypto, whose loudest critics are generally progressives within his party. “I would disagree with the premise that just because it’s software it’s non-partisan. I would agree that we are probably still pre-partisan when it comes to crypto.”

As for anticipated legislative progress moving forward, he predicted that “elements of the Lummis-Gillibrand Bill can move next Congress.”


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