California Rep. Maxine Waters, ranking member of the United States House Financial Services Committee, has called on leadership at federal regulatory agencies to weigh in on a proposed framework for digital assets.
In separate letters dated June 23, Waters requested Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler provide information on the possible impact of the “Digital Asset Market Structure” bill. The legislation proposed by Republican lawmakers on June 1 aimed to establish a comprehensive framework on digital assets in the U.S. in part by addressing regulatory gaps between the SEC and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
— U.S. House Committee on Financial Services (@FSCDems) June 26, 2023
According to the letters, Waters asked Gensler to discuss how the proposed framework, if enacted, could affect the SEC’s existing authority in protecting crypto investors. She requested similar feedback from Yellen but added that the Treasury secretary should address any potential conflicts with existing recommendations on digital assets from the Financial Stability Oversight Council per U.S. President Joe Biden’s executive order on crypto.
The discussion of how policymakers should handle digital assets continues in the U.S. amid lawsuits between regulators and private firms and criminal cases for those allegedly involved in fraud. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is expected to face 13 criminal charges split unevenly across two trials starting in December 2023 and March 2024. Crypto exchanges Binance and Coinbase are also facing civil lawsuits from the SEC regarding alleged unregistered securities offerings.
Waters gave Yellen and Gensler a deadline of June 30 to respond and added they should both be prepared to address the committee if necessary.