Harold Ford Jr., a former Democratic Congressman who represented Tennessee’s 9th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, is warning Congress about the repercussions of screwing up regulations for emerging cryptocurrencies.
In an op-ed published by CNBC, Ford urges the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to take the lead on drafting a clear regulatory framework that works with the industry and not against it, calling digital assets “the next wellspring of innovation for the American economy.”
“When it comes to the development and regulation of cryptocurrencies, many in Washington have been producing more heat than light…
A patchwork of federal agencies — from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) — have laid claim to different portions of emerging regulatory landscape, absent an overarching framework.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), however, has gotten the most attention in the vacuum left without a regulatory framework.”
However, in response to a growing demand for comprehensive regulations that effectively eradicate doubt, the SEC released a “non-binding” set of guidelines that were wholly unapproved by the Commission.
Published in April, the SEC’s Framework for “Investment Contract’” Analysis of Digital Assets aims to show how traditional policies can be applied to the new technology. The authors noted,
“This framework represents Staff views and is not a rule, regulation, or statement of the Commission. The Commission has neither approved nor disapproved its content.”
Ford says the document runs the risk of prompting innovators to flee the country amidst more confusion. The SEC may suggest one course of action only to shift course, change the rules and move the goal post. Even with a push from major companies that are entering the space, such as Intercontinental Exchange, Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, E-Trade or Facebook, signaling big money interest, a lack of regulations can hamper the outcome.
“The SEC now has the opportunity to take the lead on regulation that works with industry, not against it…
Together, U.S. lawmakers and regulators can get this right.”
You can check out Ford’s op-ed here.