Legislators in the United States seem to be reevaluating the crypto industry and its regulatory needs in light of FTX’s collapse. According to the Wall Street Journal, since the crypto exchange filed for bankruptcy in November, lawmakers have been under pressure to set a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.
Several proposals are in the works that would apply existing banking, securities, and tax rules to cryptocurrencies, and lawmakers are calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to adopt an aggressive approach to the crypto market.
In a December House hearing, Rep. Jake Auchincloss, who is also a member of the bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus, reportedly noted that “it’s time for the blockchain investors and entrepreneurs to build things that matter or to lose more credibility,” adding that in 14 years crypto has only delivered “white papers and podcasts”.
Senator Roger Marshall, an advocate for blockchain technology’s potential to stop fraud, is also pushing for tighter regulation in the United States. “Someone needs to convince me that it’s not all just a Ponzi game,” he claimed.
Among the few legislators willing to stand up for the crypto industry, Rep. Patrick McHenry stated that it is necessary “to separate out the bad actions of an individual from the good created by an industry and an innovation.” The House Financial Services Committee will be led by McHenry in the new Congress.
FTX former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s lobby in Washington was focused on a bill that would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) authority to regulate cryptocurrencies. The bill was expected to be included in the budget spending package for 2023, but now it’s unlikely to advance due to the past weeks’ developments.
As reported by Cointelegraph, Bankman-Fried was a significant donor to Republicans and Democrats in Washington. Earlier this year, he considered spending up to one billion dollars to help influence 2024 presidential election campaigns.
Open Secrets, a platform that tracks money in politics, lists SBF as the sixth-largest political contributor for the 2021-2022 cycle, with a total contribution of $39.8 million for candidates and political parties.