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Crypto Leaders Hail Biden Executive Order as a ‘Watershed Moment’ for the Industry

Following President Joe Biden’s executive order on digital assets, Bracewell’s Anne Termine told MarketWatch that while the cryptocurrency industry may be happy with this initial step, the difficult part will come when agencies start to propose regulations and Congress considers legislation.

She said that while the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission were doing their best to foster investor protection, a major goal of the executive order, significant regulatory gaps remain.

Given that the two most popular cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and ether, are thought to be commodities and therefore outside the SEC’s jurisdiction, Termine said Congress may decide to give the CFTC direct oversight of the spot markets in those assets. The CFTC has authority to oversee futures and other derivatives markets that are based on the spot markets for digital assets, but not the spot markets themselves.

“The CFTC can only regulate from behind, after fraud has occured,” she said. “The CFTC could [do] more but it needs permission to do more.”

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