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New York Attorney General Proposes Groundbreaking Cryptocurrency Legislation for Transparency and Consumer Protection

Addressing Opaqueness and Safeguarding Investors in the Evolving Crypto Industry

Mon, 29 May 2023, 04:14 am UTC

In an unprecedented move, New York's chief law officer is taking a stand against the nebulous world of cryptocurrency, introducing groundbreaking legislation designed to bolster transparency and shield consumers from risky financial ventures.

The proposal by Attorney General Leticia James, if greenlighted by the state assembly, would establish pioneering rules for cryptocurrency transactions. The aim is to minimize potential conflicts of interest, enforce the public declaration of financial reports by crypto firms, and amplify the state's consumer protection laws by including investors from the digital currency sphere. The attorney general underlined the necessity for her proposed legislation, emphasizing that the main objective is to bring increased clarity and regulation to the cryptocurrency sector and to enhance the capacity to prosecute those who show scant regard for the law.

The Cryptocurrency Legislation for Safety, Transparency, and Supervision Act would empower the attorney general to serve subpoenas and impose civil penalties ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 for each contravention.

Furthermore, the bill would solidify the authority of the New York State Department of Financial Services to grant licenses to brokers, marketplaces, advisors, and issuers of digital assets.

Endorsing the proposal, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander emphasized the need for improved supervision of the crypto industry and the construction of a legal framework to safeguard New Yorkers and the economy from opportunistic companies.

The opaqueness of the cryptocurrency industry inflicts significant damage on many investors, especially low-income individuals and racial minorities who bear the brunt of the losses, according to Lander. He argued that the crypto industry should not be allowed to operate without basic accountability infrastructure.

The booming crypto industry has drawn the attention of federal and state policymakers who decry its lack of robust regulations. Critics argue that the industry is susceptible to erratic market swings and is a conduit for criminal activities and fraud.

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