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Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres introduces crypto laws to deliver transparency to exchanges

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At a press convention in his Bronx workplace on Monday, U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) introduced the introduction of two items of crypto laws that, within the wake of FTX’s collapse, would offer the risky trade with transparency.

A consultant for New York’s fifteenth congressional district getting into his second time period, Torres has lengthy been an advocate for cryptocurrency adoption, writing an op-ed in March for the New York Day by day Information arguing that crypto may assist his constituents by decreasing the charges and delays pervasive in conventional finance, together with for remittance funds.

The 2 payments, known as the Crypto Client Investor Safety Act and the Crypto Alternate Disclosure Act, would deal with components that led to FTX’s chapter and the potential lack of billions in buyer funds, together with requiring exchanges to show and publish their property and liabilities, in addition to prohibiting exchanges from lending, leveraging, or commingling buyer funds with out their consent.

“Sam Bankman-Fried just isn’t consultant of crypto finance any greater than Bernie Madoff is consultant of conventional finance,” Torres stated. “Crypto has a spot within the American financial system, nevertheless it have to be fastidiously regulated.” 

Torres was joined by representatives from Bronx Crypto, an organization that organizes and offers instructional instruments to native traders, together with its co-founder, Julio Barrios, who instructed Fortune that he nonetheless had $1,000 locked onto FTX US.  

Torres’s payments be a part of a crowded discipline of crypto laws, together with the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Digital Commodities Client Safety, which signaled in a listening to on FTX final week that it could pause to reevaluate the invoice’s language.  

Torres sits on the Home Monetary Companies Committee, which shall be chaired by Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) within the subsequent congressional session. Together with the present chair, Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), McHenry developed his personal piece of crypto laws—a stablecoin invoice—though sources acquainted with the matter say that it’s nonetheless below dialogue and can seemingly wait till the subsequent session.

Torres stated he believes his payments can work along side any stablecoin laws, arguing that the necessity for transparency holds true for each stablecoins and exchanges. He stated there are good actors within the stablecoin area, together with Circle and Paxos, however singled out Tether, which points the most important stablecoin by market cap, as an organization about which he’s involved.  

Torres didn’t present a timeline for when he expects dialogue to start on his laws, citing the shift in Home management.

Regardless of his condemnation of FTX, Torres has been linked to the embroiled change in current articles. On Nov. 29, Blockworks reported that Torres had obtained marketing campaign funds linked to Bankman-Fried however had donated his contribution to an area charity.    

On Nov. 23, the American Prospect reported that Torres was a part of a bunch of eight Home members who had written a letter to SEC chair Gary Gensler questioning the company’s authority to make casual inquiries to crypto and blockchain corporations, which included FTX.

In response to a query from Fortune, Torres stated that was a mischaracterization of the letter, arguing that it was about voluntary requests of data from unregulated corporations.   

“There’s nothing uncommon about Congress asking an company to allocate its assets effectively,” Torres stated. “I’d argue the SEC had its priorities within the mistaken place as a result of it has spent extra time investigating Kim Kardashian than Sam Bankman-Fried.”

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