Public Policy – Page 5 – Global DCA

Public Policy

Guiding Principles

We are often asked how the Global DCA is able to bring together and achieve agreement amongst such a broad-based and diverse membership base when crafting standards, designing educational offerings and – in particular – when developing policy positions. The answer is that we start from a point of ‘Guiding Principles’ which help bring diverse viewpoints around the table to synthesize an organizational perspective. Our five ‘Guiding Principles’ are outlined below:

The Global DCA believes strongly in the concept of balanced regulation – regulation which balances the need for innovation in the industry with the need to protect consumers, stakeholders and the general public.

We believe that blockchain and digital assets are a transformative technology that will fundamentally shift the global financial sector. Digital assets are not just another fintech or technology that we can view through the narrow scope of financial sector regulation. But given their transformative nature and the evolution of this space must be viewed through the following four lenses:

  • National Security

  • Economic Growth / Job Creation

  • Financial Sector Evolution / Global Positioning in the Digital Era

  • Sustainability – Environmental as well as financial inclusion, access to finance and other social outcomes

By taking a holistic approach to understanding digital assets, we believe national jurisdictions may most appropriately devise policies, structure legal and regulatory frameworks and properly position themselves in the global digital economy.

So what is the correct legal and regulatory approach to digital assets? This will vary by jurisdiction, but generally, the Global DCA believes in a right-sized approach to government regulation complemented by a credible and robust system of self-regulation. This combination of regulation + self-regulation will allow greater overall regulatory coverage for the industry and individual jurisdictions and will help to strike the balance between the need for innovation and consumer protection.

This industry, more than any in recent memory is best suited to self-regulation as:

  • RAPID EVOLUTION – We are dealing with a rapidly evolving industry which requires a swift and nimble approach to the regulation.
  • HIGHLY TECHNICAL – This industry is highly technical and requires significant expertise that is even difficult to find / maintain / retain in the private sector – let alone the public sector.

  • NEED FOR PROXIMITY – Further, the combination of rapid evolution and required expertise to effectively regulate necessitates a high degree of proximity – such as that found in self-regulatory regimes – to the digital asset industry. Given the swiftness with which innovation is being undertaken in this space – an expert removed from the industry’s knowledge could easily become obsolete in a short period of time.

  • GLOBAL – Finally, the construct of the digital asset industry very naturally transcends borders. It is truly borderless and global. Given the need for cross-border, global harmonization and engagement to regulate – there is a need for a self-regulatory entity which can more easily follow the flow of transactions.

As such, a self-regulatory approach makes the most sense in terms of providing effective and efficient regulatory coverage for this industry.

Global DCA Policy Positions

Leveraging our ‘Guiding Principles,’ the Global DCA undertakes member and partner association roundtable seminars, engages with stakeholders and considers the public interest in crafting its policy positions. Global DCA policy positions, comment letters, statements and responses are provided below:

Global DCA Comment Letter to Bank for International Settlement on “Prudential Treatment of Cryptoasset Exposures”

“The Committee notes that for cryptoassets that confer direct claims on a pool of traditional assets held in a bankruptcy remote vehicle, a banking institution could set the credit risk exposure of bankruptcy remote assets of the redeemer to zero only if an institution has obtained a legal opinion for all laws relevant to involved parties, including the redeemer, the special purpose vehicle (SPV) and custodian, affirming that relevant courts would recognize underlying assets held in a bankruptcy remote manner as those of the cryptoasset holder. It is difficult to see how a banking institution would be able to meet that burden. It may be more constructive if the Committee were to consider proposing alternative suggestions, that could potentially offer a different standard for credit risk exposure of cryptoassets conferring direct claims on traditional assets held in a bankruptcy remote vehicle.” – Global DCA. Read Response Letter

Global DCA Response to European Financial Reporting Advisory Group on Accounting for Digital Assets and Liabilities

“Measurement requirements under IAS 38 and IAS 2 are limiting as they were not developed with digital assets in mind; therefore, we recommend considering a separate asset class for digital assets for the purpose of applying these standards. Unlike most commonly known intangible assets (e.g. software, intellectual property, brands), digital assets have some cash-like properties; some are traded in active markets and many can have trading or investment asset attributes.  A significant portion of digital assets held would not have a claim on the issuer, therefore would not meet requirements for a financial asset, and yet, they are held generally for investment purposes, are used to pay for services and experience price volatility, which are the main attributes of a financial asset and as such diverge from the concept of an intangible asset under the current standards. The fair value methodology would be much more reflective of the true economical value of the assets or liabilities on balance sheets of entities, which of course translates to more accurate reflection of the entity’s financial position…” – Global DCA. Read Response Letter

Global DCA Response to US FDIC “Proposed Guidelines for Evaluating Account and Services Requests”

“The GDCA strongly believes that regulators should create pathways to safely develop and mature fintechs and emerging firms in the Digital Assets Industry. Government agencies around the world, including here in the U.S., are recognizing that well-constructed regulatory sandboxes can drive innovation, facilitate market entry of firms, improve access to capital, and strengthen competition, among other benefits.  Allowing tiered or phased access to Accounts and Services could share some aspects of a sandbox; specifically, by allowing the regulatory requirements to flex along with the size, maturity, and level of risk each applicant poses. The sandbox model is a proven approach to foster inclusion of ‘new’ banks and Fintech firms, allowing for ease of access, and an iterative approach to shaping the rules as the industry evolves. Such an approach would have the benefit of building capacity and expertise about the Digital Assets Industry within the Federal Reserve system, allowing the Board to gain insight into and a closer view of this emerging area.” – Global DCA. Read Response Letter

Consultation on Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) Risk Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs)

“The private sector has stepped up […] on implementation of the Travel Rule across different VASPs and jurisdictions, in particular with regards to the sharing of private account information and Personal Identifiable Information (“PII”) data securely across the globe, and […] have defined and delivered common messaging standards that can be leveraged to provide private and secure transmission of all the required data for use by all VASPs. Examples of these are: OpenVasp2, the InterVASP Messaging standard IVMS1013 , and TRP (the Travel Rule Protocol4 ) and TRISA (The Travel Rule Information Sharing Alliance5). These different protocol implementations now provide a base upon which applications can be built to interchange data in the same manner as different email tools and protocols share data securely on the internet.[…] The net result will be global interchange standards that VASPs and other participants can leverage…” – Global DCA. Read Response Letter

Global DCA Comment Letter to H.M. Treasury on U.K. Regulatory Approach to Cryptoassets and Stable Coins

“Creating a regulatory environment in which firms can innovate, while maintaining the highest regulatory standards so that people can use new technologies reliably and safely is especially crucial as the UK seeks to maintain its leadership position as a global centre of excellence for fintech firms in the digital era and attract and retain investment post-BREXIT. Moreover, the industry participants recognize that the current post-Brexit era may create significant incentives for the UK to take a global leadership role in the development of a regulatory framework that will provide the digital assets industry with clear directives and regulatory requirements, allow for ongoing industry engagement in the evaluation of applications as well as the development of standards, and finally include a data-driven assessment process.” – Global DCA Read Response Letter