Two US senators have unveiled a bill that would hand most oversight of cryptocurrency markets to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
The bill, introduced by Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, marks one of the most ambitious efforts yet by US lawmakers to supervise rapidly growing and controversial cryptocurrency markets.
Lummis is one of Congress’ most vocal crypto advocates.
The measure would stipulate that the CFTC, not the Securities and Exchange Commission, play the primary role in regulating crypto products, most of which the senators said operate more like commodities than securities.
The smaller CFTC is generally seen as a friendlier regulator for cryptocurrency, as the SEC has typically found that crypto products must adhere to a host of securities requirements.
The bill is not expected to become law in the current session of Congress, with the midterm elections just months away, but its framework could serve as a basis.
Starting Point for Debate
“We expect this bill will be the starting point for debate next year regardless of which party controls the House or the Senate,” wrote Jaret Seiberg, an analyst with Cowen Washington Research Group.
“What does matter is that there is a bipartisan effort to bring crypto into the existing regulatory regime even if the details are likely to change.”
The senators said the bill is aimed at providing certainty and clarity to crypto markets, alongside consumer protections.
Among other items, the bill would establish new rules for “stablecoins,” which are tokens intended to have their value pegged to a traditional asset like the US dollar.
Those products have been under significant pressure lately after a crash in the value of a high-profile stablecoin, TerraUSD.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell