Cryptocurrencies Need the CFTC's 'Lighter Touch' Says US Rep. Darren Soto

Francisco Memoria

US Representative Darren Soto has recently argued that cryptocurrencies would ideally fall under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (SEC), rather than that of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Per the congressman, securities laws can be “very intense” and hurt the cryptocurrency market if they’re applied to assets that aren’t “truly a security.” As a solution, Soto hopes to “establish jurisdiction and classifications so we can bring confidence and clarity into the market.”

According to financial news outlet Cheddar, Soto has, along with Rep. Warren Davidson, introduced two bills in December, the “Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018,” and the “U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018.” The first one directs the CFTC to look into price manipulation and potential regulatory changes in the market, while establishing when a cryptoasset qualifies as a security.

The second one, Cheddar reports, was introduced to make sure the country can stay competitive by “mandating research and issuing policy recommendations to better accommodate the market.”

Speaking to the news outlet Soto noted regulators are aware “there are some gaming of the systems going on, like spoofing or whitewashing,” and noted regulators are looking to “establish guardrails for consumers.”

However, the congressman noted the cryptocurrency industry needs the “lighter touch” of agencies like the CFTC. In the US, agencies see cryptos in a different way, as while the IRS looks at them as property for tax purposes, the SEC views them as currencies, while considering ICO tokens securities.

Congress is now reportedly ready to change laws to ensure consumer protection, and to ensure the United States don’t fall behind countries like Malta or Japan, who have been receiving the crypto industry with a more open-minded approach.

Per Soto, the SEC will be “saved” for “true securities,” as predominantly the crypto ecosystem sees “commodities and currency transactions.” He added:

Those are agencies with a lighter touch and we have grown consensus among the industry that they’d be appropriate for the majority of these types of cryptocurrency transactions and the nature of these assets.

While what response the CFTC will have isn’t clear, the congressman noted he wants to at least establish a structure to “instill confidence and clarity.” As CryptoGlobe covered, meanwhile, European regulators have called for a “common EU-wide approach” on cryptocurrency regulations.