Darren Soto Intros Bill to Regulate Cryptocurrency
Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL) last week introduced two pieces of bipartisan legislation he says would help to prevent fraud, protect consumers, and make sure the country doesn’t fall behind as a leader in the global digital asset class. The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018 and the U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018, both introduced with Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC), would analyze what can be done to protect consumers from price manipulation and ask the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to come up with recommendations. “Virtual currencies and the underlying blockchain technology has a profound potential to be a driver of economic growth,” the lawmakers said. “That’s why we must ensure that the United States is at the forefront of protecting consumers and the financial well-being of virtual currency investors, while also promoting an environment of innovation to maximize the potential of these technological advances.” Though bitcoin has been around for a decade, the cryptocurrency fundraising method began attracting billions of dollars from retail investors at the end of last year. Regulators and lawmakers were caught unprepared as many Initial Coin offerings (ICOs) turned out to be frauds, backed merely by abstract ideas or in some cases nothing at all. In September 2018, the New York Attorney General’s Office released a report concluding that some cryptocurrency exchanges can easily be manipulated because they lack sufficient consumer protections, are riddled with conflicts of interest, and don’t have safeguards to prevent abusive trading. More about the bills here.