US: SEC and CFTC Aim for Literacy in Digital Assets, Blockchain Analysis

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U.S. financial regulators noted institutional literacy in digital assets and blockchain data analysis in today’s budget proposals.

The chairmen of two United States financial regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) testified before Congress today, May 8.

The hearings before the Senate Committee on Appropriations served to inform the Senate on the agencies’ budgetary needs while outlining various objectives and initiatives.

In their respective testimonies, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo noted the importance of the agencies becoming literate in digital assets and blockchain technology.

As per the Clayton, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations at the SEC has named “digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, coins and tokens” as high-risk investments.

Further, the SEC has requested the addition of four new positions in the Division of Trading and Markets — which is responsible for the regulation of “major securities market participants” — partially in order to increase their expertise regarding digital asset markets.

In the CFTC budget hearing, Giancarlo recalls that he has previously listed “the extraordinary pace of exponential technological change, the disintermediation of traditional actors and business models, and the need for technological literacy and big data capability” as areas that are currently challenging for regulators.

Giancarlo went on to say that CFTC is striving to adapt to this environment and become a “quantitative regulator.” He added that the CFTC should “be able to conduct independent market data analysis across different data sources, including decentralized blockchains and networks, without being reliant on self-regulatory organizations and market intermediaries.”

The CFTC chairman went on to say that the commission’s budget proposal would allow it to “expand its core economic expertise in order to conduct in-depth analytical and empirical studies” in areas it deems important.

As previously reported on Cointelegraph, there is no single federal classification for cryptocurrencies. One consequence of this is that the SEC and CFTC do not have the same regulations, although both agencies’ standards are legally valid and enforceable.

Earlier this year, U.S. regulators reintroduced the Token Taxonomy Act, which seeks to exclude digital assets from securities laws and provide a uniform regulatory framework for the assets.

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