Last month, a bipartisan pair of senators released the first comprehensive cryptocurrency bill that, though it is unlikely to become law, will frame how Congress discusses future legislation. The sweeping draft from Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), viewed as friendly to the crypto industry, defines digital assets and proposes a lighter-touch regulatory architecture, among the provisions that address current core cryptocurrency policy debates in Washington.
The Responsible Financial Innovation Act would settle jurisdictional battles among executive branch agencies by giving the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) oversight over most digital assets and constraining the authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), whose chairman, Gary Gensler, has taken a more combative stance toward the crypto industry. The CFTC would not have authority over digital collectibles or non-fungible digital assets, including NFTs. While NFTs are outside the scope of the current draft, a future proposal could alter the status quo.