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Ex-CFTC Chair Giancarlo Sees Europe’s MiCA Bill as a Threat to U.S. Crypto Industry

Cheyenne Ligon - CoinDesk
2022-07-29 09:02

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chief Chris Giancarlo is worried that the E.U.’s fast-moving Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) bill could lead to the global export of European-style crypto regulation, negatively impacting U.S. regulators’ ability to effectively create rules of their own.

The landmark legal framework, which has not yet been made law, aims to provide regulatory clarity to the growing crypto industry in Europe.

“I’m very concerned with the rapidity of MiCA’s evolution,” Giancarlo said at Solidus Labs’ annual DACOM summit in New York on Thursday. “It’s got some very expansive provisions that would, in a sense, export its approach to crypto assets to the United States.”

As the U.S. struggles to provide regulatory clarity to the domestic crypto industry, global regulatory frameworks like MiCA could fill the gap. CFTC Commissioner Caroline Pham, who recently relaunched the CFTC’s Global Markets Advisory Committee, told attendees on Thursday that market structures, once set, are extremely difficult to change.

“Once those market structures change and shift and harden and all that enormous money and investment of capital comes into those new market structures, it’s very hard to change it back,” Pham said.

Several crypto bills, including the bipartisan Responsible Financial Innovation Act, sponsored by Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), have been introduced to Congress, but efforts to establish a regulatory framework have been slow.

“Congress does need to continue its momentum,” Giancarlo said. “We need to get our own framework out there and our framework needs to make clear that for U.S. activities there will be U.S. regulation, not regulation coming out of Europe. I have great respect for Europe but their markets are very different.”

“It’s so important that we are rule makers, not rule takers,” Pham added.

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