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Vice Chair of FDIC Calls on SEC to Clearly Define “Crypto Assets” for Regulatory Purposes

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Fdic Vice Chair Urges Sec To Define &Quot;Crypto Assets&Quot; For Regulatory Clarity

FDIC Vice Chairman Travis Hill recently made a statement urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide regulatory clarity in the crypto landscape. Hill emphasized the importance of defining terms to facilitate effective regulation and boost innovation within the digital asset sector.

FDIC Vice Chair Urges SEC’s Regulatory Clarity On Crypto

In the statement, the FDIC Vice Chairman highlighted the need for regulatory guidance in the blockchain domain. He expressed concerns over the broad interpretation of “crypto-assets” by the SEC. Hill stated, “The SEC’s definition of “crypto-asset” is extremely broad and could be read to capture not just blockchain-native assets but also tokenized versions of real-world assets.”

Moreover, Hill added, “I think this is a clear example of why it is generally constructive for agencies to seek public comment before publishing major policy issuances.” In addition, Hill emphasized the numerous advantages tokenization offers, including 24/7 operation, real-time settlement, and programmability.

Furthermore, he highlighted specific examples where tokenization has already delivered tangible benefits, such as intraday repo transactions and faster settlement times for multi-currency bond issuances. Hill pointed out that programmability could streamline processes like home buying by eliminating the need for escrow, demonstrating the practical applications of this technology.

To address these barriers, Hill called for collaboration among financial institutions, regulators, and technology developers. He stressed the importance of establishing clear regulatory guidelines and standards to enhance innovation while ensuring consumer protection and market integrity. Additionally, Hill also emphasized the need to accelerate interoperability efforts to enable seamless integration across diverse blockchain ecosystems.

Also Read: Breaking: Coinbase Files First Brief In SEC’s Rulemaking Denial Lawsuit

Concerns Over SAB 121

Furthermore, he emphasized the need for clarity regarding the applicability of SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121) to tokenized assets beyond blockchain-native assets. The FDIC Vice Chairman raised questions about the implications of SAB 121 on the banking industry, particularly regarding the treatment of crypto-assets held in custody.

Moreover, he noted the challenges posed by on-balance sheet recognition for bank custodians, which could deter banks from engaging in crypto-related activities at scale. In addition, Hill underscored the importance of distinguishing between “crypto” and the use of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies by banks.

He suggested that banks interested in leveraging these technologies for traditional banking activities should not face the same regulatory hurdles as those engaging in crypto-related ventures. Hill also spotlighted the need for transparency and timely feedback to financial institutions to promote innovation while ensuring the safety and soundness of the banking system.

Also Read: FDIC Vice Critiques SEC’s Crypto Guide, Cites Major Concern

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