Congressmen criticize U.S. Treasury for rushing approval of new crypto regulation proposal

As many in the crypto industry said, 15 days during the holidays is not enough time to respond.

Nine congressmen signed a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, arguing against the Treasury’s decision to grant so little time to comment on the new crypto regulations.

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The letter written on December 31 was created in response to the Treasury’s recent proposal to have registered crypto businesses retain more information from customers, especially when they conduct transactions with proprietary portfolios.

The proposal triggered widespread outrage from the crypto community. Among the complaints, many cite the fact that Mnuchin is removing this rule just weeks before the Biden administration comes to power, and with it his likely replacement, Janet Yellen.

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The new regulatory proposals are accompanied by invitations for public comment. This is still true in this case, but while the usual comment period is 60 days, the Treasury has requested only 15 here. The comment period expires on January 4, which is the point that the signatories of yesterday’s letter are fighting against:

„The proposal in question was made public just before the Christmas vacations, and announced that the public would have 15 days to submit comments. An eight-working-day comment period over two vacations is not appropriate for regulating any industry, and could result in interested parties being unable to respond in any meaningful way.

The congressmen who signed the letter include many of the usual suspects in cryptology legislation. Blockchain Caucus members Warren Davidson, Tom Emmer, David Schweikert, Darren Soto and Ted Budd signed, as did Bill Foster. However, a few less involved figures in the crypt industry have joined, including Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Tom Cotton, and incoming New Democrat Coalition President Suzan DelBene.

Since the formal open comment period closes Monday and today is, as you may have noticed, New Year’s Day, it is unlikely that the Treasury will back down. However, there is talk of a lawsuit against the department on the basis of a procedural violation, should this rule go into effect.