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Crypto bill draft will be released in April, says Senator Gillibrand

According to United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a new draft of the bipartisan crypto bill pioneered by herself and Senator Cynthia Lummis will be released to the new Congress after being deferred in 2022.

In a March 8 Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Senator Gillibrand asked CFTC chair Rostin Behnam for his opinion on the crypto bill she had previously drafted with Senator Lummis aimed at creating a regulatory framework for the crypto industry. According to Gillibrand, the next draft of the bill will be available in mid-April.

“Our ambition is to make sure that there is a place to start a national conversation about a holistic approach to digital assets,” said Gillibrand. “To make sure that digital assets have the character of securities are regulated by the SEC, to have the assets that have the [unintelligible] of commodities are regulated by the CFTC, to make sure stablecoins can be overseen by the OCC, to make sure that there are tax provisions for the entire industry.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand addressing the Senate Agriculture Committee on March 8

Behnam said that Gillibrand and Lummis had “carefully and thoughtfully considered all components of the market” in the most recent draft of the crypto bill, specifically citing potential concerns with stablecoins and cybersecurity. The crypto industry experienced a major shakeup following the beginnings of the Lummis-Gillibrand bill in March 2022, with firms including FTX, Voyager Digital, BlockFi, Terra and others collapsing.

The CFTC chair added:

“I think given what we experienced and what we saw with FTX, a premium on obviously segregation of assets, on customer conflicts of interest and ensuring that those conflicts are walled off very carefully, I think there are different questions that we probably have to ask in many respects with respect to digital assets in light of cybersecurity, vendor risk, third party service providers.”

Related: US lawmakers propose amending cybersecurity bill to include crypto firms reporting potential threats

Though the crypto bill remains bipartisan work between the Democratic Gillibrand and Republican Lummis, it’s unclear whether the new Congress will move forward with the legislation. Lummis said in July 2022 that for many lawmakers, the bill was “a lot for them to digest”. If passed in both the Senate and House and signed into law, the legislation would likely provide needed regulatory clarity among many crypto projects, including as to which assets would fall under the purview of the SEC and CFTC.