Key U.S. Senator Urges Regulators to Leverage Current Authority for Crypto's Future

Police & Regulations
Sep 15, 2023 at 11:53 am

Senator Sherrod Brown, the Democratic chair of the Senate Banking Committee, has called for increased transparency and consumer protections in the cryptocurrency space. In a letter addressed to heads of regulatory agencies, Brown emphasized the importance of leveraging existing authority to enhance market transparency and safeguard the interests of investors involved in digital assets.

Specifically, Brown reached out to leaders at the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), urging them to address the risks associated with the industry.

He pointed out that self-regulation within the crypto sector is unlikely to be effective. Brown argued that inadequate disclosures persist because opacity benefits industry insiders, making it easier for them to profit while keeping customers uninformed. He criticized crypto companies for resisting genuine transparency and attempting to impose limited, self-serving disclosures on the industry.

During a Senate hearing earlier in the week, Senator Brown had already commended the SEC's efforts to crack down on crypto-related enforcement. This recent stance is notably stringent coming from a lawmaker whose legislative stance on crypto has been somewhat ambiguous. While the House of Representatives has advanced significant crypto-related bills for consideration, the Senate has made limited progress, primarily limited to introducing and reintroducing legislation that still awaits committee action.

Both the crypto industry and regulators have urged lawmakers to establish tailored rules for the unique products and assets within the crypto space. Senator Brown's remarks imply a necessity for new regulations, even if Congress has not yet provided clear guidance for agencies to formulate them. In his statement, Brown does not explicitly endorse any specific legislation but emphasizes that "Congress can work to provide Americans with the information they need."

Meanwhile, SEC Chair Gary Gensler has been operating under the belief that existing securities laws apply to crypto, potentially leaving a significant portion of the cryptocurrency industry non-compliant and subject to enforcement actions by the agency.

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