Republican Congressmen are leading the charge in demanding more clarity on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s plans to regulate cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
In a letter to SEC chairman Jay Clayton, 12 Republicans joined two Democrats in urging the agency to spell out to investors how exactly it plans to regulate crypto.
Because digital currencies are so new, the law has not kept up with the rapidly-evolving marketplace. As a result, virtual currencies remain largely unregulated, making the industry a ripe target for scam artists.
Regulatory Oversight Will Legitimize the Industry
Experts say clear regulatory guidelines will help legitimize the industry and promote mainstream adoption of crypto by ridding the space of swindlers and con men.
“Current uncertainty surrounding the treatment of offers and sales of digital tokens is hindering innovation in the United States and will ultimately drive business elsewhere,” the letter said. “We believe that the SEC could do more to clarify its position.”
The SEC recently said it considers most initial coin offerings as securities, meaning they should be governed by the same laws that apply to stocks.
However, the agency has not issued further guidance, saying it is Congress’ job to promulgate laws concerning this emerging asset class.
The following Congressmen signed last week’s letter to the SEC:
- Mark Meadows (Republican, North Carolina)
- Sean Duffy (Republican, Wisconsin)
- Tom Emmer (Republican, Minnesota)
- Greg Gianforte (Republican, Montana)
- Andy Biggs (Republican, Arizona)
- Warren Davidson (Republican, Ohio)
- Ted Budd (Republican, North Carolina)
- David Schweikert (Republican, Arizona)
- Jeff Duncan (Republican, South Carolina)
- Alex Mooney (Republican, West Virginia)
- John Curtis (Republican, Utah)
- Ralph Norman (Republican, South Carolina)
- Darren Soto (Democrat, Florida)
- Derek Kilmer (Democrat, Washington).
The SEC letter comes a week after Congressman Tom Emmer introduced three bills that will support the development of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin.
Emmer — who is co-chairman of the newly-formed bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus — said it’s time for lawmakers to start embracing blockchain and crypto because they are disruptive technologies that are here to stay, as the Inquisitr previously reported.
“The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth,” said Congressman Emmer.
GOP Congressman Introduces Three Bills To Support Cryptocurrencies And Blockchain https://t.co/W83WTW95T4
— Business & Money (@ppscslv) September 22, 2018
While it might sound counterintuitive that Republicans — who typically want smaller government — want the cryptocurrency industry to be regulated, formal rules are a major first step toward legitimizing the opaque, decentralized ecosystem.
The formation of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus comes shortly after a pro-crypto lobbying group was launched in Washington, D.C., by three of the biggest crypto companies in the United States: Coinbase, Circle, and the Digital Currency Group.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, the move is a clear signal that the industry is taking steps to promote mainstream adoption of virtual currencies.
Wall Street Recognizes Crypto As Emerging Asset Class
It has been a rough summer for the crypto market, which was roiled by cyber hacks, investigations into bitcoin price manipulation, and regulatory crackdowns on money-laundering and fraud.
Despite the inevitable turmoil that has occurred in the burgeoning market, Wall Street and the investment community are waking up to the realization that cryptocurrencies and blockchain could revolutionize the world of banking, supply-chain management, cybersecurity, and healthcare.