18 U.S. Congressional Bills on Digital Assets in 2021
The regulatory framework surrounding digital assets in the United States has greatly changed this year.
Jason Brett, a former Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regulator, has stated that lawmakers in the U.S. have shifted their focus from private stablecoins and are now targeting decentralized digital assets, going by the occurrences this year.
Brett published his analysis on a blog post where he stated that 18 bills have been tabled in the 117th Congress that directly impact digital assets, blockchain and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
Brett mentioned some of the notable bills passed through Congress this year and the representatives behind these bills.
However, while some of the bills are seen as oppressive towards digital assets and blockchain technology, some have been drafted to protect the innovation of the crypto sector.
One of the most popular bills is the Digital Asset Market Structure and Investor Protection Act. The bill aims at differentiating between digital assets and digital asset securities.
If the bill passes through Congress, it will give the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) oversight over digital asset securities and give the Commodity Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) oversight over digital assets.
Brett also mentioned that the bill that has made the most progress is the Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act. The bill has already passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting to be approved in the Senate.
The bill proposes the formation of a joint task force comprising SEC and CFTC officials. The task force’s mandate will be to issue clarity on which digital assets are securities and which are commodities.
However, unlike these two bills, others have been met with heavy opposition from the public and some Congress members.
In August, the U.S. Senate approved the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. This bill was met with much criticism, especially from supporters of the cryptocurrency & blockchain space.
The bill seeks to introduce crypto taxation provisions to fill the $1 Trillion tax gap. Crypto taxes are aimed at accounting for around $28 Billion of this tax gap.
However, the bill’s main weakness is that it does not clearly define a digital asset broker. Hence, it could require that software developers and network validators comply with reporting requirements, which these parties might find hard to do.
The bill is currently in the House of Representatives, where it will be voted on in the coming months.
Tom Emmer is Most Vocal about Crypto
Out of the bills tabled before Congress this year, Congressman Tom Emmer has been the most vocal, as he has introduced three bills in 2021 related to the digital assets sector.
One of his most notable bills is the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act.
The bill seeks to address the development of a safe space in the sector where blockchain service providers will be subjected to licensing and registration.
In July, he also introduced the Security Clarity Act to reduce the regulatory burden for technologies based on blockchain. In May, Emmer also reintroduced the Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act.