US lawmaker says crypto regulation from SEC is ‘needed now’

John Hickenlooper, a United States Senator representing Colorado, has penned a letter to Gary Gensler urging the Securities and Exchange Commission chair to establish “clear rules” for the crypto market.

In an Oct. 13 letter, Hickenlooper called on the SEC to take action on regulatory issues including identifying which cryptocurrencies were considered securities, establishing registration guidelines for trading platforms, and “determining what disclosures are necessary for investors to be properly informed.” According to the senator, the lack of a coordinated regulatory framework from the government has led to uneven enforcement, while the SEC is the agency “well positioned to offer regulatory guidance.”

“Given the complexity of these issues, and recognizing that some digital assets are securities, others may be commodities, and others may [sic] subject to a completely different regulatory regime, a formal regulatory process is needed now,” said the Colorado senator. “This will significantly improve policy development and allow the SEC to collect views and understand concerns.”

Hickenlooper requested the SEC engage with the public by opening a “notice-and-comment period” in order to develop rules and regulations applicable to crypto. He offered to work with the regulatory body to build such a framework, though his committee assignments for the current meeting of Congress were limited to commerce, small business, energy and natural resources, and health, education, labor and pensions.

Related: Colorado is now accepting tax payments in cryptocurrency, as Gov. Polis promised

During his time as governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019, Hickenlooper established the Council for the Advancement of Blockchain Technology in the state, tasked with creating a “comprehensive legal framework” to support the technology. In 2019 following Hickenlooper’s departure, Governor Jared Polis didn’t renew an order to continue operating the council.