US lawmaker says ‘time is not on our side’ to provide regulatory transparency on crypto

Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey said US lawmakers must pass legislation clarifying the role of regulators in crypto or risk companies outsourcing their business.

Following a Sept. 27 roundtable discussion with Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Rustin Behnam and several industry leaders, Gottheimer said some of the crypto bills proposed by members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are “building blocks” aimed at achieving regulatory transparency. While he said he was “bullying” on the Digital Products Consumer Protection Act, Gottheimer suggested the bill — which aims to give the CFTC more power over the crypto space market — isn’t the only possible legislative path.

“I am very open to any solution as long as it provides some regulatory certainty so that we stop losing businesses and startups and entrepreneurs who want to plant a flag here and grow here,” he said. “Whether that Stabenow’s account or other accounts — Lummis and others,” Gottheimer says. [and the bill] You are working on the House Financial Services Committee – less important than providing clear guidance and safeguards.

He added:

“Time is not on our side. We need to act, choose a regulator and give the market the certainty and safeguards it deserves. […] Doing nothing is a big risk for me.

Representative Josh Gottheimer and CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam at Ramapo College in New Jersey on September 27. Source: Facebook.

Gottheimer, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced the Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Act in February — legislation aimed at allowing the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to return stablecoins similar to fiat deposits. However, the bigger question of whether cryptocurrencies and stablecoins will fall under the supervision of the CFTC or the Securities and Exchange Commission seems to be looming over many lawmakers.

Related: Industry representatives have suggested improvements to the Stabenow–Boozman crypto rulebook

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabeno and Ranking Member John Boozman introduced the Digital Goods Consumer Protection Act in August. In June, Senators Cynthia Lammis and Kirsten Gillibrand co-sponsored the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, which would clarify the roles of the CFTC and SEC in crypto, as well as “regulation of Stalkcoin, banking, tax treatment of digital assets, and interagency coordination.” Many lawmakers and people in the crypto industry have criticized the SEC for taking an ‘enforcement-by-regulation’ approach to crypto.

“I think there could be a lot of consensus among all these regulatory bodies,” Gottheimer said. Obviously, we have work to do in Congress to provide some guidance and direction.