Government agencies aren’t always known for their willingness to work together. They view it as a possible threat to the power they yield and believe that it could lead to the agency’s dissolution. Cryptocurrencies are already changing the world on a number of levels and, perhaps, can also help to bring peace between government divisions.
It’s possible that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the U.S. could begin to jointly work to define crypto regulations. Currently, each agency has a different definition of what digital assets are, which is hindering advances in regulatory oversight in the country. A recent event that saw participation from both may have set the stage for this to change.
SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce stated during the event, The Year Ahead for Capital Markets, “At the SEC we’ve been unwilling to … sign off on a bitcoin ETF, an exchange-traded product based on bitcoin. My concern about our approach in that area is it looks a little bit like a merit-based approach judging the underlying bitcoin markets.”
CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz said during the same event, “We have a process in the Commodity Exchange Act that allows the exchanges to self-certify a contract if they believe it meets the requirements of the Act. The CFTC] has a review period in which we can say no we disagree with you and here’s why, but if we don’t disagree, [then] they have the opportunity to go ahead and self-certify that contract. [Both CBOE and CME Group] pursue that self-certification [route] so these contracts get listed without our approval but also without our disapproval.”
Both Peirce, who is already known as “Crypto Mom” for her support of digital currencies, and Quintenz could be considered as crypto allies in the government. They have both been vocal in stating that the government needs to do more to enhance the space and that their own agencies have been approaching crypto from the wrong angle.
After Quintenz finished offering his statement during the event, Peirce turned to him and asserted, “There [are] questions about where your jurisdiction ends and ours begins and again we don’t want to have overlap there so you know my main concern has been that I think we need to do a better job providing guidance.”
With that utterance, perhaps a new era of inter-agency cooperation within the financial regulation community has been born and crypto will finally receive the attention it deserves.
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