Gensler calls for ‘single rulebook’ in negotiations with CFTC over crypto regulation

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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler is in talks with Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) officials on a “memorandum of understanding” on digital asset regulation. Together, the agencies can ensure market integrity, Gensler told the Financial Times in an interview published Thursday. “I’m talking about an exchange rulebook that protects all exchanges, regardless of the pair – [be it] security token for security token, security token for commodity token, commodity token for commodity token,” Gensler told the newspaper.

Gensler’s desire to be collaborative comes as a variety of legislative initiatives have been introduced to create a more comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets. The Digital Commodity Exchange Act, introduced in its latest version in April, and the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, introduced in June, have both given the CFTC greater authority in the market.

Debbie Stabenow, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which oversees the CFTC, and prominent committee member John Boozman are also said to be writing a crypto regulation bill, which is expected to expand the powers of the CFTC. Gensler, who led the CFTC from 2009 to 2013, expressed skepticism about changes to the status quo.

The SEC has so far taken the lead in crypto regulation, but often to the annoyance of industry and lawmakers who criticize its methods of so-called regulation by enforcement. Crypto industry executives have explicitly called for clearer regulation, and SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce has pushed for policy changes within the commission.

Related: Bringing the Crypto Market ‘Into the Light’ Doesn’t Address Enforcement: CFTC Chairman

Regulation is not just a matter of authority. The Financial Times quotes blockchain analytics firm Elliptic as saying US regulators have raised $3.35 billion through enforcement actions in the crypto industry over the years, more than 70% of this sum being donated to the SEC.

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