Former cryptocurrency mogul Sam Bankman-Fried’s conviction for stealing over $10 billion has exposed crypto fraud, but Congress appears reluctant to regulate the industry. Efforts to establish regulations in the wake of last year’s crypto collapses have largely stalled, with geopolitical tensions, inflation, and the upcoming 2024 election dominating the agenda. Bankman-Fried’s influence, fueled by funds illegally taken from customers, may have inadvertently contributed to this regulatory inertia.
While federal regulators like the SEC have taken action against the industry, such as lawsuits against Coinbase and Binance, Congress has yet to pass significant legislation. Senators Stabenow and Boozman proposed giving regulatory authority over Bitcoin and Ether to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, but Senator Sherrod Brown, chair of the Senate Banking Committee, has been skeptical of crypto and hesitant to advance regulatory bills.
In the House, a bill aimed at regulating stablecoins has passed the Financial Services Committee, but it faces resistance from the White House and Senate. President Biden’s executive order on crypto oversight hasn’t led to substantial progress, and consumer advocates argue that existing laws are sufficient to address fraud and securities issues in the crypto industry. Crypto supporters emphasize that Bankman-Fried’s case is an isolated incident and call for regulatory clarity in the digital asset space.
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