United States Lawmakers seek SEC’s clarity on Prometheum’s ETH plans

In this post:

  • United States lawmakers are seeking clarity from the Securities and Exchange Commission over Prometheum’s plans to offer Ethereum custody services.
  • Implications for the digital asset market.

Lawmakers from the United States House Financial Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee have raised concerns about the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) approach to Ethereum (ETH) and its potential impact on the digital asset market. In a letter dated March 26 addressed to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, key figures including House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry and Vice Chair French Hill expressed apprehension regarding crypto firm Prometheum’s plans to offer institutional custody services for Ether.

United States lawmakers seek clarity on SEC’s Ethereum stance

The crux of the issue lies in differing regulatory stances between the United States SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) concerning Ethereum’s classification. The CFTC has previously categorized ETH as a “non-security digital asset,” falling under its regulatory jurisdiction. Lawmakers noted the existence of an extensive public record affirming ETH’s status as a non-security digital asset, with multiple regulatory actions supporting this position.

They emphasized that Prometheum’s proposed action, if permitted, could lead to significant and potentially irreparable consequences for digital asset markets. The SEC’s recent indications of considering Ethereum as a security has raised concerns among experts and lawmakers alike. This stance could potentially impact the approval process for spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

It is worth noting that the SEC has already approved investment vehicles tied to ETH futures for listing and trading on U.S. exchanges. In contrast, the CFTC has recognized several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ether, as commodities. This distinction was underscored by the SEC’s civil enforcement action against KuCoin and two of its founders on March 26, where ETH, BTC, and Litecoin were treated as commodities falling within the CFTC’s regulatory domain.

Implications for the digital asset market

The United States lawmakers pointed out the lack of comprehensive guidance or proposed rules from the SEC regarding asset classification in the digital asset marketplace. This absence of clear guidelines has contributed to increased uncertainty within the digital asset ecosystem. The situation was further highlighted following Prometheum’s announcement regarding ETH custody in February.

CFTC Chair Rostin Behnam reiterated the commission’s stance on Ether during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, cautioning about potential conflicts with the SEC over digital asset regulations. In November 2023, CFTC Commissioner Kristin Johnson proposed various avenues for achieving regulatory clarity in the crypto space. These included potential paths through the courts, company policies, and legislative actions from Congress.

The ongoing dialogue and debates surrounding Ethereum’s regulatory status reflect broader concerns within the crypto industry regarding regulatory consistency, investor protection, and market stability. As regulatory agencies navigate these complex issues, stakeholders across the digital asset ecosystem continue to seek clarity and guidance to ensure a transparent and well-functioning marketplace for cryptocurrencies and related financial products.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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