House Financial Services Chair aims to vote on Digital Asset Bill next month.
The Chair of the US House Financial Services Committee, Patrick T. McHenry, plans to hold a vote on a bill regulating digital assets by mid July. The draft legislation known as the Digital Asset Market Structure Discussion Draft, would classify cryptocurrencies as a commodity or a security and regulate exchanges among other measures. It would create a framework that would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission jurisdiction over digital commodities, while clarifying the Securities and Exchange Commission’s jurisdiction over “digital assets offered as part of an investment contract.” McHenry stated during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday that he wants a bipartisan process. He also said that the committee plans to markup some form of this legislation when they return from the July 4 recess. The House goes back on July 11.
Democrats voice concern
Former chair of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said the bill “appears to halt any enforcement actions by the SEC against crypto firms, even when they have committed fraud.” She added that the provisional registration could reward bad actors with a get out of jail free card and allow them to continue harming consumers and investors. The hearing comes a week after the SEC sued crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase, causing the industry to go on the defensive. The SEC accused Coinbase of operating its platform without being registered as an exchange broker or clearing agency, and accused Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao of multiple offenses, including misleading investors, unlawfully operating as an exchange, among other charges. SEC Chair Gary Gensler argued last week that it is possible for exchanges to register with the agency, despite platforms’ assertions that it was not possible.