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Ranking Member Boozman’s Opening Statement at Legislative Hearing to Review S. 4760, the "Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act"

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, released the following opening remarks, as prepared, at the legislative hearing to review S. 4760, the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act.

Good morning. I am pleased to join Chairwoman Stabenow today as we examine S. 4760, the Digital Commodities Consumer Protection Act.

This bill, which I’m proud to co-sponsor with the chairwoman, as well as Senators Thune, Booker and Ernst, will bring much needed regulatory certainty to the growing digital commodity ecosystem.

As this industry continues to grow, questions remain about the proper role federal regulators will play. I believe regulation must ensure market integrity and consumer protection, while also fostering an environment that encourages innovation.

I believe our bill gives the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) the authority to do these things.

Currently, digital asset spot or cash markets are subject to a patchwork of regulations at the state and federal level. This is simply inadequate from market structure and consumer protection perspectives.

It is without question that digital commodities and related technologies will continue to play an important role in the global economy for decades to come. As a result, now is the time to provide regulatory certainty to the market and create a framework that makes sense from both a domestic and international perspective.

It is imperative that both Congress and regulators work with industry and consumer advocates to ensure the laws and regulations for market participants are created through a transparent process that results in clearly understood rules. Anything less hurts everyone.

Regulation by enforcement, without any meaningful engagement with market participants, is no way to police the industry. It is unfair to stakeholders who operate in good faith but are then punished because they haven’t been given clear rules of the road.

Ultimately, this committee’s goal is to establish a framework that allows industry to innovate and grow, while providing the CFTC the resources necessary to write and enforce rules that protect consumers and provide retail participants the ability to fully understand the functions of the commodities they are buying and selling.

I hope today’s hearing provides an opportunity for both Chairman Rostin Behnam, and our esteemed panel of stakeholders, to weigh in on the most important features of our bill, including constructive recommendations to improve the bill as we look toward a committee markup in the near future.

In closing, I am confident the CFTC can rise to the challenge to be the right fit for an expanded regulatory role in the digital commodity spot market, and I am confident that we can work together to protect consumers and allow this ever-growing technology to flourish.

Thank you, Chairwoman Stabenow. I look forward to today’s discussion and hearing from our witnesses.