Gillibrand joins Lummis in Crafting New Digital-asset Bill

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Cynthia Lummis are working together on legislation that could give the crypto industry a broad-based regulatory framework for how this industry should potentially be regulated in the future.

The bill will cover a range of issues, including banking, taxes, privacy, and consumer protection, the two said during an event hosted by Politico in Washington.

“The work we’re doing is going to be a very complex and intensive review of the different aspects of this industry — some parts will be regulated by the [Commodity Futures Trading Commission], some parts will be regulated under the [Securities and Exchange Commission],” Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Lummis sits on the Banking Committee — a panel that oversees the Securities and Exchange Commission, which shares jurisdiction over crypto assets with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

This would mark the first major bipartisan attempt to create a comprehensive framework for the U.S.’s regulation of crypto markets and other digital assets.

Governments around the world are beginning to formulate and adopt a regulatory framework for the governance of cryptos, and the US has become the latest to do so. President Joe Biden put out an executive order on March 9, 2022 calling on the government to examine the risks and benefits of crypto assets.

“The federal government is catching up” to states, Lummis said. ”In the last year. I can’t tell you how big a change there is in the interest of Congress in this issue, in the advancement of the industry in beginning to help inform about what they need in terms of a regulatory framework and how government can be helpful to that, allowing for a sandbox of innovation that still has regulatory sideboards. That’s the sweet spot that Sen. Gillibrand and I are trying to create.”

Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed new legislation that would compel crypto platforms to know who their customers are and to block transactions if they’re sanctioned.

“Russian oligarchs can continue to use crypto to move their money around. So we’re just going to give Treasury the authorization to treat these crypto platforms much like the banks are treated. That is, you’ve got to know your customer and you can’t be dealing with people who are in violation of sanctions,” Warren told NPR last week.

“It’s easier to track and freeze digital assets than it is to track dollars,” Lumis said. “Right now, Russia doesn’t have the immediate capacity to prevent the imposition of sanctions by using digital assets and Bitcoin.”