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This Democratic Senator Pushing to Make Crypto Regulations a Priority for Both Parties

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is leading a bipartisan effort to prioritize crypto regulation amid potential government shutdown.
  • The proposed Responsible Financial Innovation Act of 2023 aims to classify most cryptocurrencies as commodities under the CFTC's jurisdiction.
  • Despite challenges, Gillibrand remains committed to advancing crypto legislation, pushing for a vote on the bill by the end of this Congress.
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Amid a potential government shutdown, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is spearheading a bipartisan initiative to bring crypto regulation to the forefront of legislative priorities.

Collaborating with Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Gillibrand is pushing for the Responsible Financial Innovation Act of 2023, a comprehensive bill aimed at regulating digital assets.

US Crypto Regulations a Split Issue

The proposed bill, a result of bipartisan cooperation, intends to classify most cryptocurrencies as commodities under the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s jurisdiction. Additionally, it requires crypto exchanges to securely store customer assets in third-party trusts.

This effort comes in the wake of the FTX exchange collapse and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding government operations.

Read more: FTX Collapse Explained: How Sam Bankman-Fried’s Empire Fell

Despite these obstacles, Gillibrand remains steadfast in her commitment to advancing crypto legislation. Speaking at the Mainnet conference, Gillibrand emphasized the importance of bipartisan support, stating,

“I don’t think it has to be a partisan issue. I’m optimistic that through conversation, and through socialization of the ideas that are in our bill, it will become more bipartisan.”

Gillibrand’s dedication to the crypto cause is evident in her persistent dialogue with Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown. She urged him to consider a hearing or markup on the stablecoin provision in her bill.

She also expressed her aspiration to have markups by the spring and a vote on the bill by the end of this Congress.

Read more: What Is a Stablecoin? A Beginner’s Guide

The Lummis-Gillibrand Act

The Senator is also exploring alternative pathways to push for the bill’s acceptance. This includes integrating elements of the bill into existing legislation and reaching a compromise on cannabis banking reforms. The aim is to ensure the seamless adoption and regulation of digital assets, thereby fostering a secure and trustworthy crypto environment.

The Lummis-Gillibrand Act is a response to the regulatory ambiguity surrounding the crypto industry. With the SEC and CFTC at odds over the nature of cryptocurrencies, the Act provides a clear regulatory framework, placing most cryptos under the CFTC’s purview. It also mandates crypto exchanges to hold customer assets securely, preventing potential investor losses.

What's new in the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act of 2023. Source: Twitter / X
What’s new in the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act of 2023. Source: Twitter / X

Senator Lummis emphasized the significance of the bill, stating,

“This legislation is the most comprehensive proposal to date that provides robust consumer protections and appropriately addresses the current landscape surrounding crypto assets.”

Despite the looming government shutdown, Gillibrand’s efforts signify a crucial step toward integrating digital assets into the mainstream financial system.

Top crypto platforms in the US | December 2023


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