US spending regulation: the clash with the SEC over control of crypto



News: the US House spending bill seeks to prevent the SEC Gensler from quickly implementing regulation on crypto. 

Specifically, members of Congress approved an amendment submitted by Tom Emmer, an influential House representative and cryptocurrency advocate, to include a blocking clause against the SEC in the government spending bill. 

See below for all the details. 

Crypto and the US spending bill: the battle with the SEC for sovereignty in regulation

As anticipated, as the US House of Representatives is considering the upcoming annual spending legislation, an amendment was introduced on Wednesday that aims to cut off funding for the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) oversight actions against crypto companies. 

Specifically, Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), known to be a strong advocate for the industry on Capitol Hill, proposed this move targeted by SEC Chairman Gary Gensler. 

Emmer has criticized Gensler for his preference toward supervisory actions rather than a policy approach to guide the cryptocurrency industry.

The House appropriations bill, called the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2024, underwent several revisions Wednesday, including the inclusion of Emmer’s amendment. 

In addition, this amendment, one of more than 100 proposed, was vocally approved by members.

Emmer’s amendment: all the details 

According to Emmer, his amendment prevents the SEC from using funds for supervisory action on digital asset transactions until Congress passes legislation granting the SEC jurisdiction over this asset class. 

This, according to Emmer, is necessary to rein in Chairman Gensler, whom he believes is inefficient and incompetent, while Congress works to allow this industry to grow and develop in the United States.

The House appropriations package will require support from the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats more in line with Gensler. 

Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and others actively support Gensler’s use of enforcement actions against crypto companies.

In addition, former Representatives David McIntosh and Tim Ryan, co-chairs of the Blockchain Innovation Project, said the Senate should now work to find a bipartisan solution based on common sense. 

This is in order to allow blockchain technology to flourish while protecting American consumers and investors. 

Recall that McIntosh and Ryan contributed to Emmer’s amendment.

Grayscale Investments: the race to the Bitcoin ETF and the influence of the SEC

In the aftermath of its historic victory in court, Grayscale Investments has begun extensive negotiations with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to transform its renowned GBTC trust into a Bitcoin spot ETF. 

This move( potentially revolutionary, could bridge the gap between traditional finance and digital assets, thus redefining cryptocurrency investment products.

Indeed, Grayscale’s crucial conversations with the SEC, involving the Division of Trading and Markets along with the Division of Corporate Finance, represent a significant step toward ETF approval.

In addition, the recent court ruling challenging the SEC’s initial rejection of Grayscale’s ETF has rekindled hopes. 

This legal success has opened the door to possible regulatory approval, paving the way for what could be the first SEC-approved Bitcoin ETF.

The result is a testament to Grayscale’s ongoing efforts and foreshadows a potential transformation in cryptocurrency-based investment products.

Craig Salm, Grayscale’s chief legal officer, expressed determination in interacting with the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets. 

Although with few details, Salm’s comments in a recent interview suggest that despite the obstacles, the process continues.

Salm’s optimism is bolstered by the progress of other financial institutions such as BlackRock and Fidelity, both of which are competing for approval of Bitcoin ETFs.

Grayscale maintains confidence in the progress and possible success of their ETF application, indicating a shift in the regulatory framework for digital assets.