Members of Congress met this week with more than 50 representatives from the worlds of cryptocurrency, finance, and investment capital at a roundtable discussion in the U.S. capital. The crypto representatives reportedly urged congressional representatives to provide greater regulatory clarity for the industry. The lawmakers have responded to those calls by delivering a letter to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton that urges the agency to clarify how it intends to approach regulation for the cryptocurrency industry.
According to CNBC, the letter was sent by more than a dozen members of the House, and stressed the need for “clearer guidelines” for the industry:
"It is important that all policy makers work toward developing clearer guidelines between those digital tokens that are securities, and those that are not, through better articulation of SEC policy, and, ultimately, through formal guidance or legislation."
The lawmakers used the letter to express their concern about the agency’s current practice of only providing guidance when enforcement actions are undertaken, noting “"We are concerned about the use of enforcement actions alone to clarify policy and believe that formal guidance may be an appropriate approach to clearing up legal uncertainties which are causing the environment for the development of innovative technologies in the United States to be unnecessarily fraught.”
That seemed to echo sentiments expressed by some at last weekend’s roundtable gathering, including those expressed by Fidelity investments chief legal officer David Forman:
"If the rules are unclear, unwritten, or unknown it's not appropriate to punish people for making the wrong guess.”
The letter provided no deadline for a response but noted the need for speed due to the industry’s rapid growth and development. The SEC is being asked to clarify the criteria it is using to determine when digital currencies can be classified as securities, and the representatives suggested that “specific FAQ-type examples illustrating how these factors may be applied in practice could aid market participants in better understanding how these factors should be applied.”