In a media interaction on Wednesday, Kristin Smith, CEO of Blockchain Association, a prominent U.S. crypto industry nonprofit, said that the United States Congress needs to take control of crypto legislation and make the process more “open.”
The CEO hinted towards having a more inclusive process, where the entire marketplace is considered “comprehensively.” She also commented that the industry needs the U.S. lawmakers to lead crypto legislation despite their intervention going to make the process “very slow,” and with the regulators “stepping in” the interim.
According to Smith, despite the regulator’s speedily progressing on legislation, the proceedings are happening “behind closed doors.” She believes it is important to include the industry in the process and make it more of an “open process” along with the involvement of Congress.
Further, Smith opines that the issue with the regulators leading the legislative process with enforcement actions and settlements relates to “very specific facts and circumstances.” However, she also explains that it must be a difficult position for the lawmakers at the moment as well, considering that many who “were close” to Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO of collapsed crypto exchange FTX feel “burned” and “betrayed.”
In the conversation, Smith also revealed her hopes for the sector’s regulation, pointing out that the lawmakers have been looking at it “since 2019” and the “work has been done.” Interestingly, Smith said that the regulations “came close” to happening last year but were deterred by the collapse of FTX.
However, Smith acknowledged the risks in the crypto sector and said they differ from traditional financial services. Hence, regulators must spend ample time looking at market regulation and “tailor to those risks” accordingly.
The CEO classified that stablecoin and “market side” regulation should be prioritized over legislating crypto-related criminal activity. As per Smith, public ledgers make it “much more transparent” than what could be observed in the traditional financial system.
In recent times, the executives of Blockchain Association have made frequent comments regarding the regulations in the U.S. Given the regulatory feud between SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Jake Chervinsky, chief policy officer at the Blockchain Association said that irrespective of the actions that these regulators’ execute, they are “bound by legal reality,” and that “neither” has the authority to “comprehensively regulate crypto.”
The authorities in the U.S. have been speedily working on establishing Crypto regulation. In January, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published a blog inviting public feedback that would be utilized for developing a cryptocurrency policy. The blog post also noted that the opinion has to be submitted by March 23 and should focus on cryptocurrencies in general, along with a substantial focus on related elements like blockchain, distributed ledgers, decentralized finance (DeFi), and smart contracts.