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A member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has recommended the initiation of a focused pilot initiative to address regulatory concerns surrounding cryptocurrencies.

During a virtual message delivered at an event organized by the Cato Institute on September 7, Commissioner Caroline Pham expressed her intention to propose a trial program for the digital asset markets. This initiative arises from the need for the U.S. to potentially narrow the gap with jurisdictions that have more crypto-accommodating regulations. Pham hinted that this program might mirror the regulatory sandbox initiatives previously launched at the state level.

According to Pham, “A pilot program can create a framework for emerging technologies and market structures under our existing laws and regulations,”… “It is my hope that a pilot to test, gather data, and develop a pragmatic approach to tokenization can ensure we continue to uphold our mandate to fostering open, transparent, competitive and financially sound markets.”

Pham urged for the convening of a stakeholder roundtable and encouraged the CFTC to devise and enact regulations focusing on the associated risks of cryptocurrencies, building upon the insights gained from previous trial initiatives. Following the completion of this program, the commission would then ascertain the necessity of making these changes a permanent feature.

Serving as a CFTC commissioner since April 2022, Pham is one among five individuals in this role and has consistently advocated for more defined cryptocurrency regulations. She also actively supports measures aimed at safeguarding retail investors in the crypto space, besides her role as the sponsor of the commission’s Global Markets Advisory Committee.

This recommendation for a trial program occurs in the backdrop of ongoing efforts by U.S. legislators to delineate the respective responsibilities of the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission in overseeing cryptocurrency regulations. Earlier in July, the path was paved for a comprehensive House vote — potentially taking place before 2024 — with the House Financial Services Committee green-lighting the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act.