This week lawmakers and regulators announced that they are working on new rules and legislation in the crypto space. Federal agencies are also poised to step up enforcement action to protect consumers and investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) still argue that they are the right agency to oversee certain crypto assets, but a senator has announced that a new bill could shed light on the question. The CFPB wants to ensure that other regulators apply financial consumer protection rules consistently, and it will issue new circulars to explain how to do so. The Fed has released a final rule that may allow banks to delay certain instant payments when using FedNow services to combat fraudulent activity.
Federal agencies have something to say about crypto
SEC Chairman Steps Up Crypto Crusade, Sends Message to CFTC
On Monday, May 16, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Gary Gensler told an audience at the 2022 FINRA Annual Conference that until there is better regulation in the crypto space, the agency “will continue to be a cop on the beat.” The president also used this platform to remind that some tokens, at least the ones he was referring to, are securities. The main difference between a commodity and a security when it comes to digital tokens is third-party fundraising, Gensler explained.
SEC’s Gensler calls on Congress to fund crypto and AI enforcement
Monday wasn’t the only day Gensler talked about crypto. At two different events on Tuesday, he explained first the need for the SEC to continue to monitor the markets and enforce securities laws, and then the additional funds needed to cover those efforts.
Before a House committee, Gensler called for an 8% increase in the SEC’s budget from FY22. That would mean about 400 new officers, 90 of whom would be assigned to the enforcement and review divisions. .
CFTC Chairman Signals More Crypto Enforcement and Oversight
Rostin Behnam, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), participated in several events this week where he recuperated his agency’s position in the cryptocurrency space and suggested that further enforcement actions are probable. Following steps by the SEC, which is increasing its resources in the Crypto unit, Behnam said the CFTC will also seek to prioritize the use of its existing authority to deter and combat fraud and manipulation in the crypto markets. cryptography and will continue to add resources. in this area.
US Sens to Release Long-Awaited Crypto Legislation Next Week
On Tuesday, Senator Cynthia Lummis told an audience at an American Enterprise Institution forum that she plans to release a long-sought crypto bill for discussion next week — and the official bill could be presented to Congress as soon as 30 days later. The proposed bill is long overdue by the crypto community because, as confirmed by the senator, it will include provisions defining whether a certain crypto asset is a security or a commodity and which agency will have oversight, either the SEC or the CFTC.
FinCEN official also speaks out against crypto firms
On Thursday, Alessio Evangelista, associate director of the enforcement and compliance division of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), urged cryptocurrency firms not to stick their heads in the sand in the face of red flags. Cryptocurrency businesses need to be “vigilant” of illicit activity on their platforms and take a compliance-focused approach to developing new tools.
The CFPB and the Fed want to protect consumers and prevent fraud
The CFPB wants other agencies to follow its view on enforcement
On Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it would issue consumer financial protection circulars to government agencies and other law enforcement authorities outlining how the CFPB intends to enforce federal consumer finance law. The CFPB is concerned that, given the wide variety of agencies responsible for enforcing federal consumer finance law, there is a risk that companies will face inconsistent enforcement strategies and approaches.
FedNow will let banks delay instant payments to prevent fraud
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve finalized a rule that governs funds transfers through the Federal Reserve Bank’s FedNow services. The final rule is substantially similar to last year’s proposal, but some of the clarifications provided by the Fed will allow banks more time to process instant payments if they believe the funds may have a fraudulent origin.
CFPB warns companies not to misrepresent FDIC insurance
The CFPB seeks consumers who are at risk of succumbing to false advertising resulting from the misuse of the name or logo of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), a CFPB Press release said on Tuesday (May 17). The CFPB issued an enforcement memorandum stating that companies may not misuse the FDIC’s name or logo, or make misleading representations for deposit insurance, which aims to promote confidence in the industry banking.
Large companies still under surveillance
Bill could force Google to cut its advertising business
On Thursday, Senator Mike Lee, joined by Senators Amy Klobuchar, Richard Blumenthan and Ted Cruz, introduced the Digital Advertising Competition and Transparency Act. If this becomes law, it will force Google to sell much of its ad business.
The bill aims to eliminate conflicts of interest in the digital advertising industry, and given the position that Google occupies in different parts of the online advertising value chain, it will be the company most affected by the bill. Facebook and Amazon could also be required to divest part of their advertising business.
DOJ to step up antitrust review of buyout deals
The role of buyout groups has been “extremely important” to the agency’s enforcement program, Kanter said. Historically, these groups have played a key role in acquiring parts of a company when other companies have had to divest assets following a merger investigation. The problem now is that some of the biggest private equity groups remember the industrial conglomerates they used to help break up.