US: SEC and CFTC Chairs Call for Digital Literacy Among Regulators


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According to testimonies published May 8, 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and  the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have called for increased education regarding digital assets and blockchain technology.

US SEC and CFTC Want More Crypto Education

Jay Clayton and J. Christopher Giancarlo, the chairmen of SEC and CFTC, respectively, testified before the US Congress on May 8, 2019. The two high-profile officials informed the Senate about the importance of knowledge of emerging tech. They also made the Senate know about their respective agencies’ intentions to push for crypto and blockchain literacy among their members.

Clayton requested the Senate to add four new positions in the US Division for Trading and Markets. This arm of the US Government is primarily responsible for the regulation of “major securities market participants.” The move to add four additional personnel in the division is seen as an attempt to instill more literacy among government bodies regarding digital currencies, blockchain technology, and the entire crypto ecosystem at large.

The fact that financial watchdogs are typically abhorrent of cryptocurrencies is no secret.

Currently, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations at the SEC has classified “digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, coins, and tokens” as high-risk investments which speaks volumes of the lack of trust the organization has in the emerging asset class.

Much similar to Clayton’s testimony, CFTC chair Giancarlo in his testimony stated that the organization is incessantly trying to adapt to the digital environment and become a “quantitative regulator” in the long run. He identified the relatively unexplored crypto and blockchain space as areas that are currently challenging for regulators.

He said:

CFTC should be able to conduct independent market data analysis across different data sources, including decentralized blockchains and networks, without being reliant on self-regulatory organizations and market intermediaries.

Giancarlo added that the regulatory body’s proposed budget would greatly help it conduct research and empirical studies to better understand the economic implications of digital currencies.

Regulators Ready to Give Crypto a Shot

Long followers of the crypto industry would agree that although the battle is far from won, regulatory bodies around the world are steadily becoming more receptive towards digital currencies. Of course, there still lie exceptions in India and China, but if other economic powerhouses take the initiative to regulate the nascent space, it won’t be long before other countries join in.

BTCManager reported on April 2, 2019, how the US SEC posted a job requirement for a “Crypto Specialist Legal Advisor.”

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