Senator Lummis, a pro-bitcoin supporter, will propose a new cryptocurrency regulator.


According to a story from Bloomberg today, Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), a member of the Senate Banking Committee and one of only two incumbent senators with Bitcoin in her portfolio, plans to present a measure that will radically alter the legislative and regulatory landscape for crypto.

The plan, according to the article, would establish a new regulatory agency to monitor cryptocurrency matters, which would be controlled jointly by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

According to reports, the measure will also define how different forms of crypto assets are categorised for regulatory purposes, formalise crypto taxation rules, detail stablecoin provider requirements, and incorporate consumer protections.

Sen. Lummis, a staunch Bitcoin advocate, told Decrypt last week: "I’m optimistic that we’ll eventually reach an agreement on a legal framework for digital assets that resolves many of the longstanding issues, including regulatory jurisdiction, market integrity, self-regulatory organizations and stablecoins."

Crypto regulations are at a crossroads, with the industry, Congress, and regulators all saying the industry needs to be regulated but not one quite agreeing on how or by whom. SEC Chair Gary Gensler has sought to consolidate oversight of crypto markets under his agency; he's pointed to the fact that many assets listed on crypto exchanges are likely classifiable as securities—tradable financial instruments such as stocks and bonds. Meanwhile, CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam has pushed for his agency, which traditionally oversees derivatives products such as Bitcoin futures, to be granted more jurisdiction.

The Lummis bill isn't entirely a shot in the dark, though it might be best considered as a starting point for legislation rather than a fait accompli. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), the only other senator to hold Bitcoin, is the ranking Republican member on the Senate Banking Committee, where the bill will likely be sent for consideration.

The committee, which is chaired by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), has shown a keen interest in the topic. Earlier this month, it conducted a hearing called "Stablecoins: How Do They Work, How Are They Used, and What Are Their Risks?" In a prepared statement, Sen. Brown said, "Stablecoins and crypto markets aren’t actually an alternative to our banking system. They’re a mirror of the same broken system –with even less accountability, and no rules at all."

We'll see if he likes the rules his Wyoming colleague is proposing.

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