SEC Chair condemns crypto bill that seeks to dodge the regulator’s oversight

Source Fxstreet
May 22, 2024 16:12
  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler says FIT21 bill poses a perpetual threat to investor protection.
  • FIT21 bill would bring most crypto assets under the purview of the CFTC as opposed to the SEC.
  • White House opposes FIT21 but doesn’t threaten veto as the US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill on Wednesday.

US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler expressed concerns about the potential impact of the FIT21 bill on investor protection in a statement on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the White House has opposed FIT21 but isn’t threatening to veto it as the House of Representatives will vote on the bill on Wednesday.

Also read: Crypto community anticipates House vote on FIT21 Act for digital asset regulations

Gensler blasts FIT21 bill

SEC Chair Gary Gensler said on Wednesday that the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) poses a perpetual threat to investor protection. His main arguments center on the long-standing investment laws that have guided the American securities market for 90 years and the impact that the bill's passage would have on the crypto industry's jurisdiction.

"The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act ('FIT 21') would create new regulatory gaps and undermine decades of precedent regarding the oversight of investment contracts, putting investors and capital markets at immeasurable risk," said Gensler in a statement.

The FIT21 bill aims to bring most crypto assets under the purview of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) rather than the SEC. Many crypto community members have voiced support for the bill, considering the SEC's recent crackdown on several crypto projects.

Read more: US House Committee set to address regulatory issues over digital assets through review of FIT21 Act

"The bill allows issuers of crypto investment contracts to self-certify that their products are a 'decentralized' system," Gensler said, "and then be deemed a special class of 'digital commodities' and thus not subject to SEC oversight"..

FIT21, originally introduced by the House Financial Services and the House Agriculture committees, was created to provide regulatory frameworks to guide the crypto industry. The bill is scheduled to be voted on in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Last week, about 60 top crypto industry voices who support the bill's passage signed a letter advocating for lawmakers to vote for its passage.

Furthermore, the White House released a notice on Wednesday stating that the administration under President Joe Biden opposes the passing of the H.R.4763 bill containing FIT21 but doesn't threaten to veto it.

Also read: Ethereum continues to rally as five potential spot ETH ETF issuers have already submitted amended filings

The House claims that the bill lacks sufficient customer protection. However, they will work with Congress to ensure smooth regulations for cryptocurrencies. 

"The Administration is eager to work with Congress to ensure a comprehensive and balanced regulatory framework for digital assets," the notice states. "H.R.4763 in its current form lacks sufficient protections for consumers and investors who engage in certain digital asset transactions.”

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