Leading House Democrat Solicits Feedback From Gensler and Yellen on Crypto Bill

The bill would provide guidelines for U.S.-based crypto exchanges to register with regulators.

AccessTimeIconJun 26, 2023 at 7:31 p.m. UTC

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has made an overture to regulators in an attempt to secure the passage of a crypto-focused bill that would offer U.S.-based digital asset exchanges a path toward registering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),

The letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, dated June 23, asks him to delineate how the Digital Asset Market Structure proposal would impact the SEC’s “existing authorities,” including its “mission and ability to protect investors” and “maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets.”

A similar letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asks her to explain what impact the bill would have on the Treasury Department and its “mission to promote economic prosperity” and “ensure the financial stability of the United States,” as well as how it would address or conflict with “any policy recommendations made by the Treasury Department or Financial Stability Oversight Council in its various digital asset reports.”

The Digital Asset Market Structure proposal, co-signed by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Penn.), is the most significant crypto oversight proposal created in Congress this year. The draft legislation would approve digital securities, commodities and stablecoins for trading, as well as provide guidelines for distinguishing a crypto-based security from a commodity.

The letters signal Democrats’ attempts to advance a bill that could potentially bring greater regulatory clarity to the burgeoning crypto industry but that has been unpopular with many in the party.

The SEC, under Gensler’s watch, has attempted to rein in the crypto industry through a series of enforcement actions, targeting major industry players such as Coinbase, Binance, Kraken and Bittrex.

Waters asked Gensler and Yellen to provide responses to her requests by Friday.

Edited by Nelson Wang.


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Elizabeth Napolitano

Elizabeth Napolitano was a news reporter at CoinDesk.