House Democrat asks Gensler and Yellen for feedback on crypto bill.

The Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), has reached out to regulators in an effort to pass a bill focused on cryptocurrency that would provide a way for US-based digital asset exchanges to register with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a letter dated June 23 to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, Waters requested clarification on how the Digital Asset Market Structure proposal would affect the SEC’s “existing authorities,” including its ability to “maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets” and “protect investors.”

Waters also sent a similar letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking for an explanation of how the bill would impact the Treasury’s mission to promote economic prosperity and ensure financial stability, as well as how it would align or conflict with any policy recommendations made by the Treasury Department or Financial Stability Oversight Council in its digital asset reports.

The Digital Asset Market Structure proposal, co-authored by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Penn.), is the most significant cryptocurrency oversight proposal created in Congress this year. The proposed legislation would approve digital securities, commodities, and stablecoins for trading, and provide guidelines for differentiating a crypto-based security from a commodity.

The letters indicate the Democrats’ efforts to advance a bill that could potentially bring greater regulatory clarity to the rapidly growing cryptocurrency industry, but which has been unpopular with many in the party.

Under Gensler’s leadership, the SEC has attempted to regulate the cryptocurrency industry through a series of enforcement actions, targeting major players such as Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and Bittrex.

Waters has requested a response from Gensler and Yellen by Friday.

Edited by Nelson Wang.