Digital Assets and SEC Regulation [Updated June 23, 2021]   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Summary: "In recent years, financial innovation in capital markets has fostered a new asset class--digital assets--and introduced new forms of fundraising and trading. 'Digital assets', which include 'cryptocurrencies', 'crypto-assets', or 'digital tokens', among others, are digital representations of value. Regardless of the terms used to describe these assets, depending on their characteristics, some digital assets are subject to securities laws and regulations. Securities regulation generally applies to all securities, whether they are digital or traditional. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the primary regulator overseeing securities offerings, sales, and investment activities. The SEC's mission is to protect investors; maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitate capital formation. The existing securities regulatory regime, including the SEC's digital asset regulation, generally aligns with the mission. The SEC has used existing authorities to evaluate new product approval, provide individual regulatory relief, and solicit public input for policy solutions more tailored to digital assets. It has also asked Congress for more authorities pertaining to digital assets. Digital assets have a growing presence in the financial services industry. Their increasing use in capital markets raises policy questions regarding whether changes to existing laws and regulations are warranted and, if so, when such changes should happen, what form they should take, and which agencies should take the lead."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R46208
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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