Coinbase, Robinhood, CFTC to testify in Congress over draft crypto bill

Coinbase, Robinhood, and representatives from the United States commodities regulator are set to testify before Congress on June 6 to discuss a newly proposed crypto bill. 

The trio will be sharing their firm’s, or agency’s views on a proposed bill that could see certain crypto tokens classified as digital commodities, among other things.

“Tomorrow I have the honor of testifying on Capitol Hill before the House Committee on Agriculture to share Coinbase’s views on the Digital Asset Market Structure Discussion Draft […] released last week,” said Coinbase Chief Legal Office Paul Grewal in a statement on June 5.

Other witnesses called to testify include former CFTC chair Chris Giancarlo, former CFTC commissioner Dan Berkvitz and FIAconnect founder Walt Lukken.

In a June 5 Twitter thread, Grewal gave a rundown of what his own testimony will focus on.

“The U.S. is falling behind. We cannot afford to ignore crypto while other markets take advantage of our absence, developing rules and regulations that enable the industry to thrive and risk sending jobs, investment, and technological leadership overseas,” Grewal noted adding that:

“We need a clear rulebook in the US to achieve the full promise of crypto. Until rules and laws are developed that reflect the realities of this new economic system, we cannot realize the full potential of making our financial system faster, fairer, and more affordable.”

Grewal will also make apparent his support for the proposed crypto bill, which he said is “a strong step forward in providing overdue regulatory clarity.”

The Digital Asset Market Structure Discussion Draft was released on June 2, and is part of a push from Republican congressmen Patrick McHenry and Glenn Thompson to provide a “statutory framework for digital asset regulation intended to provide clarity, fill regulatory gaps, and foster innovation, while providing adequate consumer protections.”

Commenting on the draft, Grewal described it as a “thoughtful effort” that represents “a major step forward,” as he called on “lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to work together and act as soon as possible.”

“In addressing both CFTC and SEC authority, the Discussion Draft builds on existing regulatory frameworks, while also recognizing the unique properties and opportunities of digital assets. It would also provide much-needed Congressional authority and guidance to allow our financial system to evolve.”

Related: Coinbase Derivatives Exchange set to roll out BTC and ETH futures

The moves appear to align with Coinbase’s long-running push for more precise regulatory guidelines for the crypto sector and would come just a day after rival crypto exchange Binance was slapped with 13 charges by the U.S. SEC.

Cointelegraph reached out to Grewal to see if he will make any comment on the recent action during the hearing, and will update the article if he responds.

In his testimony summary, he argues that “digital assets do not collectively fit into any single existing regulatory box: some are commodities, some are securities, some are neither, and some simply don’t map onto existing categories.”

“With more than 20 percent of Americans owning and using crypto, we need a regulatory framework that will protect consumers and enable the critical uses of this new technology to continue and grow,” Grewal stated.

Magazine: Crypto regulation — Does SEC Chair Gary Gensler have the final say?

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