Thirteen major players in the crypto industry have joined forces with the Crypto Market Integrity Coalition (CMIC), an industry-led organization that’s trying to prevent market manipulation and signal to regulators that the crypto markets are safe for investors.
The new signatories – including crypto analytics firms Chainalysis, TRM and Elliptic, as well as exchanges like Gemini, Robinhood, Nexo and Bitpanda – join CMIC’s 17 original members, including Coinbase, BitMEX and Solidus Labs (the founding member of the organization), bringing the total number of signatories to 30.
“We’re excited about the prominent players in this industry coming forward to join us and amplify how important market integrity is,” Kathy Kraninger, vice president of regulatory affairs at Solidus Labs, told CoinDesk. Before her role at Solidus Labs, Kraninger worked in government, most notably as the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
To join CMIC, signatories must sign a pledge and make a public commitment to ensuring market integrity and market efficiency, and the prevention of market abuses like fraud and manipulation. Kraninger told CoinDesk that education and training of member organizations is also a key component of CMIC’s mission.
CMIC is a proto-self regulatory organization (SRO) – what Kraninger sees as a “recognized first step” towards a potential future in which the industry can self-regulate.
CMIC isn’t the first organization to try on the idea of self regulation. In 2018, Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss backed a short-lived aspiring SRO, the Virtual Commodity Association, that failed to get off the ground.
Galaxy Digital has backed the Association for Digital Market Assets (ADAM) which, like CMIC, is a proto-SRO. The Global Digital Asset and Cryptocurrency Association, which calls itself an SRO, has approximately 40 member companies including white-shoe law firms and crypto companies like BitStamp and CrossTower.
Though many in the crypto community have touted self-regulation as the solution to the industry’s woes, potential SROs and SRO-like organizations like CMIC have failed to gain any real traction with regulators.
But if self-regulation is a possibility down the line, Kraninger sees now as the time to gather industry participants from across the world to crowdsource the best ideas for regulation.
“Regulators are comparing notes. That’s one benefit of being a global community, they are comparing notes,” Kraninger said. “That doesn’t mean the laws are going to be the same, but there is certainly some sharing and a lot of coordination by law enforcement that continues to grow.”
“We as an industry should be coordinating and speaking with one voice as well,” she said.
The remaining new CMIC members include crypto exchange INX, which operates a Securities and Exchange Commission-regulated transfer agent and broker, Deltec Bank and Trust, which counts stablecoin issuer Tether as a client and a host of others.