In recent regulatory news, the CFTC chairman has warned that the regulator is falling behind its international counterparts with regards to virtual currency and blockchain regulations; a U.S. Congressional bill is advocating the incorporation of cryptocurrencies into the regulatory mandate of FinCEN; and a candidate of the Wisconsin Libertarian Party is accepting donations in the form of bitcoin despite a state Ethics Commission finding that cryptocurrency donations may not be legal.
CFTC Chairman Warns Regulator is Failing to Keep Pace with Crypto and DLT
Whilst speaking to the House Committee on Agriculture during a Congressional hearing on the “upcoming agenda for the CFTC” that took place on the 25th of July, J. Christopher Giancarlo, the chairman of the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, warned that the CFTC is falling behind its international counterparts with regards to regulation in the spheres of cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology.
“We’re falling behind. Just two days ago, the Bank of England announced that they’re putting in a new bank-to-bank payment system in the U.K., and it’s gonna be blockchain-compliant. And they’ve had the last four years […] to participate in all these blockchain beta tests that we’ve not been able to participate in. […] So I feel like we’re four years behind, because we do need to test it, […] we need to see how it can help us do a better job as regulator. […] Emerging financial technologies are taking us into a new chapter of economic history. There’s a lot of coordination going on,” the CFTC chairman said.
Mr. Giancarlo also promoted a bill put forward by Ag Committee member Georgia Representative Austin Scott that the CFTC believes “would greatly enhance the Commission’s ability to keep pace with emerging technology, explore its potential, and facilitate its adoption.”
U.S. Congressional Bill Proposes FinCEN Mandate Covering Cryptocurrencies
A Congressional bill filed by U.S. Congressmen Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Steve Pearce (R-NM) on July 18th seeks to establish a regulatory mandate for the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to examine the use of cryptocurrencies for the financing of illegal activities.
The “FinCEN Improvement Act” claims that “Although the use and trading of virtual currencies are legal practices, some terrorists and criminals, including international criminal organizations, seek to exploit vulnerabilities in the global financial system and are increasingly using emerging payment methods such as virtual currencies to move illicit funds.”
Wisconsin Libertarian Candidate Accepts BTC Donations Despite Ethics Commission Concerns
Libertarian candidate for the governor of Wisconsin, and chair of the state branch of the Libertarian Party, Phil Anderson, has stated that he will accept campaign donations in the form of bitcoin, despite a state Ethics Commission finding that BTC contributions could be in violation of Wisconsin law.
“We will not allow the lack of appropriate interpretation of the current statute (to) affect the First Amendment rights of those who want to show support and contribute,” said the candidate, adding that he holds “no faith in the Assembly to handle this fairly nor expeditiously.”
Mr. Anderson asked the state Ethics Commission to permit candidates to accept political donations in the form of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies earlier this year. In May, the commission found that “allowing cryptocurrency contributions presents a serious challenge to the commission’s ability to ensure compliance with state law,” ultimately deferring the issue to the state Legislature.
Do you expect that Mr. Anderson will face recourse for his decision to accept bitcoin donations? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fincen.gov, lp.org
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