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US Lawmakers Unhappy, Ask SEC for Crypto Clarification

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 2 min read

In a new letter dated September 28 to Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), US Congressmen Warren Davidson, Ted Budd, Tom Emmer, and Darren Soto asked for clarifications on the regulatory status of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.

Source: iStock/gustavofrazao

According to the lawmakers, the current uncertainty regarding digital tokens “is hindering innovation in the United States,” while hinting that businesses may be moving elsewhere to more crypto-friendly jurisdictions if nothing is done.

The pro-crypto Congressmen went on to write that they “believe the SEC could do more to clarify its position,” and added that they are “concerned about the use of enforcement actions alone to clarify policy […]” The Congressmen were particularly interested in getting a clear regulatory framework for when a token sale should be considered an “investment contract,” thus classifying tokens as either securities or non-securities.

As reported last week, Congressman Davidson hosted a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill between lawmakers and representatives for the crypto industry. The forum, dubbed “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies,” will provide input from the industry to be used in the preparation of a new bill that Davidson plans to put up for a vote in the US House of Representatives this fall.

During the meeting, Davidson was quoted as saying that “I am confident we can move forward and make this a flourishing market in the U.S.,” while adding that “we did it well with the Internet.”

Meanwhile, not only in the U.S. the lack of regulation in the crypto and blockchain space, especially for projects that raised funds through ICOs, is keeping even compliant projects from working.

“If you’re a good citizen complying with accounting, opening bank accounts, doing everything correctly, you can still get hit every single week by institutions, service providers, partners that tell you they’re not working with you anymore just because you’re dealing with cryptocurrencies,” Ada Jonušė, CEO of Lympo, a Lithuania-based sports and health data monetization company, said in September.

Ripple forms lobbying group

In other news from Washington this weekend, a statement from Ripple revealed that the California crypto startup focusing on the banking sector, and other companies associated with it, are forming a lobbying group to influence crypto regulations during a critical time when lawmakers in Washington are trying to figure out how to approach the issue.

The new advocacy group, dubbed Securing America’s Internet of Value Coalition (SAIV), says it will promote “a vision of fair and equitable Internet of Value,” as well as fair tax treatment on crypto-related “capital gains, assets and charitable contributions.”