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Crypto Explained: What are Crypto Assets?

Fintech’s evolution is changing all aspects of society in a majority of industries. Its latest innovation is the creation of crypto assets. The term crypto asset is a broad term that includes crypto-commodities, crypto-currencies, and crypto-securities. This distinction may be important in the future because of proposed U.S. legislation that attempts to place the regulation and enforcement of these categories in the hands of different federal agencies. On March 9, 2020, Representative Paul Gosar introduced H.R.6154 – Cryptocurrency Act of 2020, which seeks to “clarify which [f]ederal agencies regulate digital assets, to require those agencies to notify the public of any Federal licences, certifications, or registrations required to create or trade in such assets . . . .”

The bill divides crypto assets into three categories: (1) crypto-commodities; (2) crypto-currencies; and (3) crypto-securities. It also proposes that the three categories of crypto assets be regulated by different federal authorities: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission would be the governing body of crypto-commodities; the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for crypto-currencies; and the Securities and Exchange Commission for crypto-securities. The bill is an important progress step for the United States in becoming the global leader of cryptocurrencies and in making it easier for businesses, institutions, and individuals to participate in the growing crypto industry without the current uncertainty.

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