Senator Lummis Teases Upcoming Crypto Bill Saying NFTs Won’t Be Included

United States Senator Cynthia Lummis appeared on a livestream hosted by Axios on Tuesday to announce the highly anticipated cryptocurrency bill she is writing. The Wyoming Republican said the bill will be introduced as “one big piece so people can see the big picture” and broken down into five or six components for consideration by relevant congressional committees.

The bill, which Lummis is expected to introduce along with New York Democrat Kristin Gillibrand, is designed “to work within the traditional framework for traditional asset management and regulation,” Lummis said. It will split cryptocurrency oversight between the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Oversight of crypto assets is given to the SEC “if something fits the Howey test that makes it a security,” Lummis said, referring to the Supreme Court’s 1946 decision defining a security.

Regulations also need to address altcoins and consumer confidence, Lummis said, adding that they need to “allow regulators to separate the wheat from the chaff in space.” This will allow crypto to be used for payments and integrate the asset class into 401(k) retirement savings packages, she said.

The Wyoming senator said she was confident the law would pass because “digital assets are impartial.” She expressed hope that it would move through the legislative process more quickly than might be expected with such a complex bill, given that authorities are currently required to “make regulatory decisions on the fly.”

U.S. President Joe Biden’s executive order to ensure responsible development of digital assets “fitted pretty well” with the bill’s proposals, Lummis said, although the bill differs from the president’s regulatory vision in that it would allow non-banks to launch stablecoins to spend Lawmakers would seek advice from the private sector on a stablecoin regulatory framework, she added.

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Lummis mentioned that the bill touches on the central bank digital currency (CBDC) without going into detail. Environmental issues are not addressed in the bill, nor are Nonfungible Tokens (NFTs). “It’s so hard to figure out how to categorize them,” Lummis said of NFTs. She noted that once the bill is passed, regulators may be able to decide how and whether to regulate them.