• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Congress Members Concerned about SEC Stifling Innovation

Mar 20, 2022

Tom Emmer, Republican Congressman from Minnesota, put forward a bipartisan letter that has been written to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s chairman, Gary Gensler. The letter was written by a group of Congress members in which they have challenged the scrutiny of the regulator of crypto companies. These members of Congress have expressed concerns that the crypto industry could be suffocated due to the ‘overburdensome’ investigation. They have stated that the regulatory authority is drowning these firms in the paperwork that falls under the jurisdiction of the organization. Emmer has 51,000 followers on Twitter and disclosed the matter in a tweet.

He stated that a number of blockchain and crypto firms had gotten in touch and disclosed that the reporting ‘requests’ of the SEC Chairman Gary Gensler don’t come off as voluntary and are ‘overburdensome’. He added that these were stifling the innovation of the crypto industry. Three Republicans and four Democrats co-signed the letter and they all belong to the bipartisan Congressional Blockchain Caucus. According to Emmer, the SEC, along with its chairman, are overburdening crypto companies and misusing their investigative powers. He claimed that the regulator has been bogging down blockchain and crypto companies in excessive paperwork by taking advantage of the Division of Examination and Division of Enforcement authorities.

The legislator asserted that the SEC is misusing these authorities and also highlighted the limitations in the mandated jurisdiction of the regulator. He said that they were using the investigative functions of the Enforcement Division to obtain information from unregulated participants in the blockchain and crypto industry. He said that this was inconsistent with the way the Commission routinely conducts investigations. According to the Congress members, there is a possibility that the SEC could be in violation of the 1980’s Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). This is aimed at regulating the amount of paperwork that a private entity or individual has to submit to a federal agency.

Collins Belton, the Managing Partner at Brookwood, which is an emerging technology legal company, applauded the efforts of Emmer on Twitter. He said that the requests put forward in the letter would not be good for the Commission. He also shared that he was pleased that these issues were now coming to light, as he could not express his concerns about the SEC publicly because of legal privilege. He added that this would help the public in deducing just how absurd some of the requests are.

In the past, Emmer has proven himself to be a staunch supporter of crypto and blockchain technology. Back in July 2021, he introduced the Security Clarity Act that was aimed at providing digital assets a clear legal definition. Emmer is hoping that blockchain entrepreneurs will be able to use the bill for distributing their assets without having to worry about any additional legal burdens, once they have fulfilled the requirements that are outlined in the bill. However, the bill is still in its early stages and has not yet been approved by the House of Representatives.

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