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Congressman Darren Soto

Representing the 9th District of Florida

Rep. Soto, Members Introduce Bipartisan Bills Preventing Virtual Currency Price Manipulation

December 6, 2018
Press Release
Legislation commissions research on potential cryptocurrency risks and preventative methods

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL-09) along with Ted Budd (R-NC-13), introduced two pieces of legislation to help prevent virtual currency price manipulation and position the United States to be a leader in the cryptocurrency industry. The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018 and the U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018, will analyze what can be done to protect consumers from price manipulation and to ensure America remains a global leader in fostering innovation in this evolving global marketplace.  Reps. Soto and Budd released the following joint statement:

“Virtual currencies and the underlying blockchain technology has a profound potential to be a driver of economic growth. That’s why we must ensure that the United States is at the forefront of protecting consumers and the financial well-being of virtual currency investors, while also promoting an environment of innovation to maximize the potential of these technological advances. This bill will provide data on how Congress can best mitigate these risks while propelling development that benefits our economy. ”

The two bills direct the CFTC and other financial regulators to make critical recommendations for how to improve the regulatory environment for both the consumer and business development side, especially in light of concerns raised in the New York Attorney General’s recent report on virtual exchanges’ risk of manipulation and the Wall Street Journal’s description of potentially abusive software of bots manipulating the price of Bitcoin.

The Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act, directs the CFTC to describe aspects of how price manipulation could happen in virtual markets and then to make recommendations for regulatory changes that can improve the CFTC’s monitoring procedures in preventing price manipulation. Click here for the full text of the Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act.

The U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018 directs the CFTC to conduct a comparative study of the regulation of virtual currency in other countries and then make recommendations for regulatory changes to promote competitiveness in the U.S. in the industry by providing regulatory clarity and examining alternatives for current burdensome regulations that may inhibit innovation. For examples, it asks the CFTC to clarify the virtual currencies that qualify as commodities and examine the costs and benefits of a new, optional regulatory structure that could replace the current state money transmission system.  Click here for the full bill text.

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