WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) today introduced wide-ranging legislation loosely aimed at regulating cryptocurrency. Under the proposed legislation, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission would become the de facto regulator, with jurisdiction over digital assets that are not securities.
Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate at Public Citizen, issued the following statement in response to the bill:
“Most cryptocurrencies are not much more than modern-day tulip bulbs. Under-regulated crypto markets have become a playground for scammers, tax dodgers and black market traffickers. While we appreciate the senators’ recognition that crypto regulation is broken, their bill would formalize the regulatory avoidance and arbitrage that the industry has relied on to grow so far. Instead of giving crypto promoters a free pass to keep avoiding taxes and lining their pockets at the expense of ordinary people, Congress should be looking to hold these assets with questionable and unproven value and known high costs to the highest standard of investor and consumer protection.
“Cryptocurrencies have not made the payment system cheaper, faster, or more accessible to disadvantaged populations. The ridiculous fuel guzzling computer guessing game required for blockchain proof-of-work validation exacerbates climate change. Regulators must recognize the risk that unfettered growth in crypto poses to the financial system and enforce strict separation between issuers of crypto and tech companies and others who would use it as a backdoor to avoid sensible financial regulation.”