United States Congressman Darren Soto to be named blockchain Caucus Co-Chair

USA Congressmen and rep. Darren Soto, will be named the newest co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus on Monday. According to a source,  Soto will succeed Jared Polis, a founding member of the caucus who was elected governor of Colorado in November. The other co-chairs, Reps. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., David Schweikert, R-Ariz., and Bill Foster, D-Ill., all will keep their positions.

Mr. Soto, who was elected to the House in 2016, has been active on issues in cryptocurrency regulation in recent months, leading a roundtable with industry executives in September and introducing the Token Taxonomy Act with Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, in December.

That bill, one of the first major crypto policy initiatives to come out of the House, seeks to exempt cryptocurrencies from existing securities laws. Mr. Soto could have his work cut out for him persuading fellow Democrats to support the bill; Republicans have so far taken more of an interest in loosening regulations the industry sees as hampering growth.

Darren Soto has said in the past that most cryptocurrencies should not be regulated under the country’s securities regulator. Soto made his comments in an interview with financial news channel Cheddar on Jan. 10.

According to Soto, crypto should be overseen by the Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) — rather than classed as securities under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s charge.

Advocating for the need to establish agencies’ jurisdiction with more clarity and to create fine-grained classifications for cryptocurrencies, the congressman argued that applying federal securities laws “can be very intense and hurt the market unless it is truly a security.”

The debate between whether or not certain crypto companies are considered to be a security has been heavily debated lately.

Soto made his case against heavy-handed regulation with the view to maintain the United States’ global competitiveness —  acknowledging the proactive efforts to foster the crypto industry in countries such as Malta and Barbados.

There is a lot of confusion going on with internal debates regarding this in the USA. The Internal Revenue Service has for its part advised that for federal tax purposes, it has decided to treat cryptocurrencies as property.

Soto mentioned in the interview that, “We’ll be saving the SEC for true securities, knowing predominantly that these are commodities and currency transactions. The [CFTC and FTC] are agencies with a lighter touch and we have grown consensus among the industry that they’d be appropriate for the majority of these types of cryptocurrency transactions and the nature of these assets.”

Although there are a lot of debates going on and a lot of regulations being implemented, this is still a strong sign that the future of crypto will be well defined in a positive outlook.

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Edith Muth

Edith Yue is CryptoMeNow's analyst. She loves to do intensive research on how blockchain will make an impact in our society. You can contact Edith at Edith@cryptomenow.com

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