Sens Stabenow and Boozman push for final crypto bill, but FTX could taint it for House Republicans
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(Kitco News) - U.S. Senator John Boozman, ranking member of the United States Senate Agriculture Committee, announced on Thursday that he and Committee chair Sen. Debbie Stabenow remain committed to pushing forward with a final version of the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act 2022 (DCCPA). But even as FTX proves the need for further regulation and oversight of crypto, Sam Bankman-Fried’s association with the bill may cripple its chances.
“The events that have transpired this week reinforce the clear need for greater federal oversight of the digital asset industry,” Boozman wrote. “That has been our goal since we began drafting the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act of 2022.”
The senator characterized the DCCPA as “a robust bill that aims to bring transparency and accountability to the market,” and said that the committee is reviewing it in light of this week’s events “to ensure it establishes the necessary safeguards the digital commodities market desperately needs.” The DCCPA bill was first introduced on Aug. 3. 2022.
Boozman also reiterated that the CFTC already has the authority to prosecute fraud and manipulation. “I strongly encourage them to actively exercise those authorities when necessary,” he wrote.
Erstwhile FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried was a strong proponent of the bill and attended Senate DCCPA hearings. He also published his own set of proposed standards for the digital asset industry on October 19.
But SBF’s relationship with regulators has come under increasing scrutiny in recent days, which could hamper the passage of the final bill. Republican Congressman Tom Emmer tweeted yesterday that he believed SEC head Gary Gensler had been working on behalf of FTX.
Interesting. @GaryGensler runs to the media while reports to my office allege he was helping SBF and FTX work on legal loopholes to obtain a regulatory monopoly. We're looking into this. https://t.co/SznowgcP6V— Tom Emmer (@RepTomEmmer) November 10, 2022
The fact that Bankman-Fried reportedly funneled over $40 million to Democratic lawmakers and crypto super PACs ahead of the midterms, and once promised to spend $1 billion on races through the 2024 presidential election, will no doubt also stiffen Republican resistance to the DCCPA.
In order to become law, the DCCPA would need to make it out of the House and be passed by the Senate before being signed by President Joe Biden. With Republicans retaking the lower house of congress as FTX craters markets, that seems less likely than ever.