Like other commodities markets, crypto spot markets aren’t comprehensively regulated, but Congress is considering proposals to treat them more like markets for securities or derivatives.
US financial markets are regulated by two separate agencies: securities markets are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and commodity derivatives markets are regulated by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Both agencies have expressed interest in a grant of authority to regulate crypto spot markets, and several bills have been introduced in Congress addressing the issue.
Crypto spot markets are currently regulated by many agencies under a range of frameworks on both the state and federal level, such as consumer protection laws, money transmission laws, anti-money laundering laws, and the CFTC’s anti-fraud and anti-manipulation authority. It remains unclear if additional regulations are necessary, but if they are, Congress has expressed a clear preference for the CFTC as the appropriate regulator for crypto spot markets through legislative proposals such as the Digital Commodity Exchange Act (DCEA), the Responsible Financial Innovation Act (RFIA), and the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act (DCCPA). We support further study and discussion on the question of whether and how crypto spot markets should be regulated.
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