A pair of U.S. senators plans to introduce a new regulatory framework that would treat digital assets as commodities and place them under the purview of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and not the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to news reports.
The Responsible Financial Innovation Act, being introduced by Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., would classify digital assets as commodities such as oil or steel, putting them under the CFTC’s oversight, CNBC writes.
Lummis, who sits on the Senate Banking Committee, and Gillibrand, who’s on the Agriculture Committee, said that the bill is the result of months of work involving both the House of Representatives and the Senate as well as consultations with the industry, according to the news network.
Staff for the two senators say that the bill classifies all digital assets as “ancillary assets,” or intangible, fungible assets offered or sold in conjunction with a purchase and sale of a security, except when the assets in question behave like a security that a corporation would issue to create a capital pool with investor funds, CNBC writes.
In such cases, the assets would fall under SEC scrutiny, according to the news service.
In January, Democrats and Republicans on the Senate and House Agriculture Committees — which oversee the CFTC — argued that the two largest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ether, are commodities and therefore fall under the jurisdiction of the CFTC, as reported.
SEC chair Gary Gensler, meanwhile, has been pushing for a bigger role for his agency in regulating crypto, as reported.
Representatives for Lummis and Gillibrand said the senators worked with the SEC on their plan, according to CNBC.
Neither the CFTC nor the SEC immediately responded to the news network’s requests for comment.
Staffers also say that the complexity of the bill will likely cause lawmakers to split it into different parts, according to CNBC.
Meanwhile, the SEC is investigating whether Binance Holdings, which operates the world’s biggest crypto exchange, violated securities regulations when it sold its BNB token, now the world’s fifth-biggest, Bloomberg writes.
The regulator is probing whether the 2017 initial coin offering qualified as a sale of a security and therefore should have been registered with the SEC, people familiar with the matter who were granted anonymity tells the news service.
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