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CFTC主席鼓励用基于原则的方法来监管数字资产

2020-6-17 14:06

 

美国商品期货交易委员会(CFTC)主席希斯•塔伯特(Heath Tarbert)认为,基于原则的监管应适用于金融科技、区块链和数字资产领域。他在《哈佛商业法律评论》(HBLR)上撰文,比较了基于原则的监管和更规范的基于规则的监管,权衡了利弊和背景。


去年11月在接受CNBC采访时,塔伯特谈到了数字资产:“我希望美国能发挥领导作用,尤其是在数字资产基础区块链技术方面。不过,他指出,就Facebook的天秤座而言,美国既不是它的第一选择,也不是第二选择。


他接着说:“我认为,在这项技术上处于领先地位的人,最终将为世界其他地区制定道路规则。我的重点是确保美国是一个领导者。”


在哈佛大学的论文中,塔伯特主张对数字资产采取基于原则的监管方式,以便有一段时间的开发和观察。不过,他睁大了眼睛,强调了零售参与率上升带来的风险。


“详细的销售实践和披露义务规则可能适合这些市场,以及有关客户资产管理的规则,”文件指出。


迄今为止,许多数字资产在披露方面相当薄弱。基金会乐于发布有关交易的新闻稿,但在财务披露方面不那么公开。根据我们在Ledger Insights的观察,有些人可能会用代币来激励大型组织的高管,这是有风险的。或者拥有某些数字资产可能会影响使用哪种技术的决策。当个人拥有资产时,参与其中会引起冲突。

原则五基于规则的规则


这篇论文的大部分探讨了不同的监管方法,并注意到大多数框架是原则与规则的混合。


以限速为例,塔尔伯特说:“一条规则可能会说,‘开车速度不能超过每小时55英里。原则可能会说,‘在这种情况下小心驾驶’或‘谨慎驾驶’。”


塔伯特指出,21世纪头十年,原则性做法成了宽松监管的代名词。“在我看来,所谓的宽松监管根本就不是监管;相反,它更多的是起到监督作用。”


从每种方法的优点来看,原则鼓励简化,减少对大量监管的需要。复杂性会阻碍遵从性,并有利于能够负担得起遵从性团队的大公司。因此,基于原则的方法鼓励创新。


原则允许更大的灵活性,而具体的规则可能变得僵化。有了规则,也很难做到正确。禁止无意的行为和允许应该被取缔的行为是很容易的。它鼓励一些人寻找漏洞和检查方法。


原则方法还可能导致更高级的人员参与决策,而不是法规遵循部门。此外,监管机构往往与企业有更多的对话,这有利于国际合作。


另一方面,规则提供了更大的透明度,这可能有利于不那么成熟的市场参与者,并降低了监管决策在事后做出的风险。规则为私人诉讼提供了一个安全港,并有助于模糊最低标准和最佳做法之间的区别。


目前,加密货币和企业区块链领域的公司都将合规列为头号障碍。无论是以区块链发行债券的桑坦德银行(Santander),还是以HQLAX及其数字抵押品登记系统发行债券,两家银行都花了更多时间与律师沟通,称技术实施是容易的部分。

 

Heath Tarbert, Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) believes principles-based regulation should be applied to the fintech, blockchain and digital asset sectors. Writing in the Harvard Business Law Review (HBLR), he compared principles-based regulation to more prescriptive rule-based regulation, weighing the pros, cons and contexts.

Talking to CNBC last November, Tarbert spoke about digital assets: “I want the United States to lead, particularly in the blockchain technology that underlies digital assets.” However, he noted that when it came to Facebook’s Libra, the U.S. was neither the first nor second choice for its domicile.

He continued: “I think whoever ends up leading in this technology will end up writing the rules of the road for the rest of the world. My emphasis is on making sure that the United States is a leader.”

In the Harvard paper, Tarbert argued for a principles-based regulatory approach to digital assets to allow for a period of development and observation. However, he has his eyes wide open, highlighting the risks as retail participation increases.

“Detailed sales practice and disclosure obligation rules may be appropriate for these markets, as well as rules regarding the custodying of customer assets,” the paper states.

To date, many digital assets have been pretty weak on disclosure. Foundations are happy to issue press releases about deals but less open with financial disclosure. Our observation at Ledger Insights is that there’s a risk that some may incentivize executives at large organizations with tokens. Or owning certain digital assets might sway decision making about which technology to use. Skin in the game can cause conflicts where individuals own the assets. 

Principles v Rule-based regulation

Much of the paper explores the different approaches to regulation and observes that most frameworks are a hybrid of principles versus rules. 

Giving the example of speed limits, Tarbert states: “A rule might say, ‘Do not drive faster than 55 mph.’ A principle might say, ‘Drive carefully under the circumstances’ or ‘Drive prudently.'”

Tarbert noted that in the 2000s a principles approach became synonymous with light-touch regulation. “In my view, so-called light-touch regulation is not really regulation at all; rather, it serves more of a monitoring function,” he said.

Looking at the advantages of each approach, principles encourage simplicity and reduce the need for volumes of regulation. Complexity can impede compliance and favors large firms that can afford a compliance team. Hence a principles-based approach encourages innovation.

Principes enable greater flexibility, whereas specific rules can become ossified. With rules, it’s also tough to get it right. It’s easy to ban conduct unintentionally and permit behavior that should be outlawed. It encourages some to look for loopholes and a checklist approach. 

A principles approach can also result in the involvement of more senior personnel in decisions, as opposed to compliance departments. Additionally, regulators tend to have more dialogue with firms and it facilitates international cooperation.

On the flipside, rules provide greater clarity, which can be good for less sophisticated market participants, and reduces the risk of regulatory decisions being made retrospectively. Rules provide a safe harbor against private litigation and help to blur the distinction between minimum standards and best practice.

Right now companies in both the cryptocurrency and enterprise blockchain sectors rank regulatory compliance as the number one hurdle. Whether its Santander issuing a bond on a public blockchain or HQLAX and its digital collateral registry, both spent more time with lawyers saying the technical implementation as the easy part.

 

来自: Ledger Insights