As many in the crypto industry have said, 15 days over the holidays is just not enough time to respond.
Nine congresspeople have signed on to a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, telling him to hold his horses.
The Thursday letter is in response to the Treasury’s recent proposal to make registered crypto businesses hold on to more customer information, especially when transacting with self-hosted wallets.
The proposal has been met with widespread outrage from the crypto community. Among grievances, many cite the fact that Mnuchin is pushing this rule out just weeks before the administration of Joe Biden comes into power, and with it his likely replacement, Janet Yellen.
Accompanying new proposals for rules are invitations for public comment. This remains true in this case, but while the usual comment period is 60 days, the Treasury has here asked for just 15. The comment period expires on Monday, which is the point that the signatories to yesterday’s letter are fighting against: “The proposal in question was made public just before the Christmas holiday, and it announced that the public would be afforded 15 days to file comments. A comment period consisting of eight business days over two holidays is not appropriate for regulating any industry, and could result in in stakeholders being unable to meaningfully respond.”
The congresspeople who signed the letter include many of the usual suspects in crypto legislation. Blockchain Caucus members Warren Davidson, Tom Emmer, David Schweikert, Darren Soto and Ted Budd all signed, as did AI caucus leader Bill Foster. However, some figures less involved in the crypto industry have joined, including Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Tom Cotton and incoming chair of the New Democrat Coalition, Suzan DelBene.
Given that the formal period for open comments closes on Monday and today is, as you may have noticed, New Year’s Day, it’s unlikely that the Treasury is going to back down. There is, however, talk of a lawsuit against the department on the basis of a violation of procedure, should this rule come into effect.