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House Committees At Odds Over SEC’s Crypto Custody Guidance On SAB 121

Author

Jay Solano

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2 mins
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Author

Jay Solano

Tags

Editor's Choice / Slider Posts

Reading time

2 mins
Last update

Author

Jay Solano

Tags

Editor's Choice, Slider Posts

Reading time

2 mins
Last update

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In recent developments on Capitol Hill, the US House Financial Services Committee has become a battleground for lawmakers grappling with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) guidance on crypto custody.

The committee’s deliberations revolve around Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121), a directive requiring financial institutions to include customers’ crypto assets on their balance sheets.

Divided Votes Reflect Bipartisan Concerns

Across three separate resolutions, members of the House Financial Services Committee voiced divergent opinions regarding the SEC’s stance on crypto custody. While each resolution aims to address different facets of the issue, they collectively underscore bipartisan concerns over the regulatory landscape surrounding digital assets.

Challenges To SEC’s Guidance

Critics of SAB 121, including Republican lawmakers like Michael Flood and Tom Emmer, argue that the SEC’s directive imposes undue burdens on banks seeking to enter the crypto custody space. They contend that such requirements stifle innovation and drive potential custodians away from the market, ultimately limiting consumer choice and investor protection.

Support For Investor Safeguards

Conversely, proponents of the SEC’s guidance, such as Democrat Representative Maxine Waters, emphasize the importance of investor safeguards in the volatile crypto market. Citing past failures like the collapse of FTX, they argue that regulatory clarity is crucial to preventing fraud and safeguarding investors’ interests.

Legislative Path Forward

As these resolutions progress through committee votes, they face a rigorous legislative process before potentially reshaping the regulatory framework governing crypto custody. While some lawmakers seek to overturn the SEC’s guidance, others advocate for refining existing regulations to strike a balance between innovation and investor protection.

SEC’s Defense and Regulatory Intent

Amidst the political debate, the SEC remains steadfast in its defense of SAB 121, asserting that the directive serves to enhance disclosure and mitigate risks for investors. The regulatory agency underscores the importance of transparent reporting in safeguarding investors’ assets and maintaining market integrity.

Implications for the Crypto Ecosystem

The outcome of these legislative efforts will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the burgeoning crypto ecosystem. Whether through the repeal of SAB 121 or the refinement of existing regulations, lawmakers are poised to shape the future trajectory of crypto custody and investor protection in the US. As the debate unfolds, stakeholders across the financial and tech sectors await clarity on the regulatory landscape governing digital assets.