US Chamber of Commerce calls for clearer regulations on cryptos, ICOs

The Chamber reminds regulators that they need to keep up with the rapidly evolving tech industry.

The US Chamber of Commerce, through its freshly launched Fintech Innovation Initiative, is urging both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to issue clearer regulations on cryptocurrencies and any related activities, such as ICOs (initial coin offerings). The Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization and aims to be the voice of the 3 million businesses it represents.

In their position paper, the Chamber made their position and principles clear, and have called on the SEC and CFTC to take pro-active measures in understanding the cryptocurrency sphere, and subsequently regulating it.

“We urge the SEC to continue studying ICOs to see how they can be an effective tool for raising capital, while protecting investors and ensuring applicable laws are met. We also urge the CFTC to study how cryptocurrency is functioning in the futures and commodities market. In both cases, we urge the agencies to regulate the products and services enabled by the technology instead of the technology itself. This approach would alleviate contradictory and overlapping rules, and allow institutions to focus on what really matters – reducing consumer risk and preventing fraud,” they wrote.

They also urged the CFTC to make it faster to issue no-action letters—which are used to order startups to cease activities if they are deemed unlawful. Several malicious actors have been taking advantage of the cryptocurrency boom, and when they continue to operate unchecked—with law enforcers lagging behind, it can lead to more investors being victimised and more funds being lost.

“For cryptocurrency that is a future, we urge the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) to provide more guidance and broadly consider expedited no-action letters,” the Chamber wrote. They reiterated how regulation needs to keep up with the fast-paced tech industry.

“It is important to emphasize that streamlined and efficient consideration is critical to sustain these technologies because there is generally a significant lag time between the speed of technological innovation and regulatory action. As the crypto industry rapidly evolves, it is critical that both the SEC and CFTC are mindful of the fast moving pace of technology, create streamlined processes to assess the tokens, and be prepared to issue relief so regulatory hurdles do not become a barrier to entry. We look forward to working with both of these agencies as the use of tokens grows and regulatory expectations are clarified.”

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