The US Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business group, is demanding clearer regulations for cryptocurrencies and any activities related to them, including Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
The request has come as part of the Chamber’s new FinTech Innovation Initiative, which released its first report last week, outlining eight FinTech principles to be presented to legislators and regulators.
In its report, the Chamber urged the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) to continue studying ICOs to see how they can be an effective tool for raising capital while protecting investors and ensuring applicable laws are met. The organization also recommended the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to study how cryptocurrencies are functioning in the futures and commodities market.
“In both cases, we urge the agencies to regulate the products and services enabled by the technology instead of the technology itself. This approach would alleviate contradictory and overlapping rules, and allow institutions to focus on what really matters – reducing consumer risk and preventing fraud,” the report reads.
The Chamber also addressed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), saying it “should adopt a robust no-action letter and advisory opinion process that gives innovators the opportunity to receive regulatory certainty they need to be successful”.
The Chamber’s call for regulatory clarity in the crypto sphere echoes demands by executives and investors in the US digital currency sector. According to a recent survey by US-based law firm Foley & Lardner, 72% of the actors on the country’s crypto market believe there is no well-grounded understanding of how current federal and state regulations of financial markets are applied to digital coins.
Despite this clear mark of interest in increased regulatory scrutiny, there is still no conclusive definition-based framework for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the US. Questions regarding the proper authority in charge of the regulation of the sector persist. Furthermore, dispute over the classification of the digital currencies as commodities or securities have compounded pressure within the industry.