Lawmakers Focusing on US Crypto Legislation Following Ripple Victory and Crypto ETFs, Says Coinbase CEO

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Lawmakers Focusing on US Crypto Legislation Following Ripple Victory and Crypto ETFs, Says Coinbase CEO
Photo: Hubert Lamela / Flickr

Armstrong said lawmakers are again looking to create crypto legislation in the US following Ripple’s court win and the increase in Bitcoin ETF applications.

According to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, lawmakers in the United States are giving renewed attention to crypto legislation. Speaking to Axios, Armstrong said lawmakers are committed to designing relevant legislation for the crypto industry in the US.

The Coinbase exec said lawmakers are already interested in legislation and are looking at it deeply. According to him, the renewed focus stems from multiple factors, including Ripple’s recent victory against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the recent flurry of spot Bitcoin ETF filings. Earlier this month, a judge in the Southern District of New York ruled that XRP is not a security.

“I think the Ripple case drove a lot of urgency. Same with these Bitcoin ETF filings that we’ve been seeing recently from Blackrock, Fidelity, and major financial services firms,” explained Coinbase CEO.

Armstrong said these recent events have spurred lawmakers to reach out to get legislation ongoing. According to the Coinbase CEO, Reps. Patrick McHenry and Maxine Waters are very committed.

The Axios conversation swayed into ETF filings and whether or not the SEC will soon approve a spot Bitcoin ETF. Armstrong again mentioned Ripple’s recent victory when asked about his confidence in the recent filings, stating that it’s the first time a “very reputable judge” has made a clear ruling on the matter. In addition, Armstrong said the recent filings involve some of the world’s most trusted names. Finally, he added that the “legal question marks” around many other assets, and their status as securities, don’t exist with Bitcoin. He explained:

“So I think most people, including members of Congress who oversee these committees and the budget of the SEC, are looking at this and saying: “This is just as plain vanilla as you can get. What possible reason at this point could there be for blocking it?”

Ongoing Attempts at Crypto Legislation in the US

Members of the Agriculture and Financial Services Committees co-sponsored the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act and introduced it last Thursday. The bill attempts to create legislation for crypto in the US and designs a framework for regulating digital assets.

Among other things, the bill proposes that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission holds jurisdiction over crypto. The bill also creates a way to sell cryptocurrencies initially considered securities, as commodities. In addition, the bill defines the SEC’s jurisdiction and specifies conditions for cryptocurrencies to qualify as commodities.

Interestingly, one of the bill’s introductory materials strongly criticizes the SEC for its recent crackdown against the crypto industry. According to the document, the SEC’s current regime does not provide for registering and regulating cryptocurrencies. The document also chides the SEC for using its “enforcement authority to regulate the market” instead of providing the clarity needed for the industry to operate.

In addition, the document chastises the SEC for pretending to invite companies to register while pursuing enforcement behind the scenes. Consequently, the Reps believe Congress must fill the gaps since the SEC is reluctant to provide comprehensive crypto legislation in the US.

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