Gensler appeals for ‘one rule book’ in negotiations with CFTC over crypto regulation

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Gensler appeals for ‘one rule book’ in negotiations with CFTC over crypto regulation
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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler is negotiating a “memorandum of understanding” with Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) officials for the regulation of digital assets. Together, the institutions can ensure the integrity of the market, Gensler told the Financial Times in an interview published on Thursday. “I’m talking about a rule book about an exchange that protects all trades, regardless of the pair — [be it] Security tokens versus security tokens, security tokens versus commodity tokens, commodity tokens versus commodity tokens,” Gensler told the paper.

Gensler’s desire to collaborate stems from various legislative initiatives aimed at creating a more comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets. The Digital Commodities Exchange Act, introduced in its latest form in April, and the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, introduced in June, both give the CFTC greater market powers.

Debbie Stabenow, the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees the CFTC, and John Boozman, a senior member of the committee, are also reportedly drafting a crypto regulation bill that is expected to expand the CFTC’s powers. Gensler, who led the CFTC from 2009 to 2013, is skeptical of changes in the status quo.

So far, the SEC has led the way in cryptocurrency regulation, but has often drawn ire from industry and lawmakers who have criticized its approach to regulation through enforcement. Crypto industry leaders have explicitly called for clearer regulation, and SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has urged a change in policy within the commission.

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Related: ‘Exposing’ the cryptocurrency market won’t solve enforcement problems: CFTC chair

Regulation is not just a question of power. U.S. regulators have raised $3.35 billion over the years through crypto industry enforcement actions, with more than 70 percent going to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Times reported, citing blockchain analysis firm Elliptic.

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