ABA raises concerns about digital asset regulation bill

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) today introduced the Responsible Financial Innovation Act—a bill that would create a regulatory framework for digital assets.

Among other things, the legislation would assign regulatory authority for digital asset spot markets to the Commodity Futures Training Commission, creating a new advisory committee focused on developing guideline principles, empowering regulatory agencies and advising lawmakers on fast-developing technology. It would also establish 100% reserve, asset type and detailed disclosure requirements for all payment stablecoin issuers. Importantly, the bill would not require that all payment stablecoin issuers become depository issuers, as some other policymakers have recommended.

The American Bankers Association has long advocated for providers of digital assets to be subject to the same regulatory framework as banks and raised concerns about today’s legislation, noting that it “would effectively create a parallel supervisory and regulatory structure that holds non-bank firms to lesser standards than banks, and therefore offers their customers and our financial system fewer protections. We believe [Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome] Powell’s principle of ‘like activity, like regulation’ should guide this debate, and we look forward to sharing our perspective as the legislative process plays out.”