A key United States House panel has approved a pair of bills that could finally deliver some regulatory clarity to crypto firms — including clarifying the differences in jurisdiction between the U.S. securities and commodities regulators.
On July 26, the majority of U.S. lawmakers voted in favor of the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, as well as the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act.
The House Financial Services Committee approved the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act in a 35-15 vote, which would establish rules for crypto firms on when to register with either the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or the Securities and Exchange Commission.
#PASSED: In a historic first, the House Financial Services Committee just advanced the BIPARTISAN FIT for the 21st Century Act to protect consumers and provide clear rules of the road for the digital asset ecosystem.— Financial Services GOP (@FinancialCmte) July 26, 2023
Up next: @HouseAgGOP considers the legislation tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/kOyLmolPuz
The Republican bill also outlines a process for firms to certify with the SEC that their projects are adequately decentralized, allowing them to register digital assets as digital commodities with the CFTC.
Republican Congressman French Hill, who also serves as the vice chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said he was proud the bill had passed its first hurdle, and that it had been passed by the committee with bipartisan support.
"We have crafted landmark legislation that establishes robust consumer protections and clear rules of the road for market participants while keeping innovation in the United States."
Meanwhile, the bipartisan Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, sponsored by Republican Congressman Tom Emmer and Democratic Congressman Darren Soto, aims to set out guidelines removing hurdles and requirements for “blockchain developers and service providers” such as miners, multisignature service providers and decentralized finance platforms.
Emmer praised the passing of the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act as a “huge win" for the United States.
BREAKING: My nonpartisan bill – the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act – just passed out of the @FinancialCmte.— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) July 26, 2023
This is a huge win for the United States as we are one step closer to putting Americans in the driver’s seat in crafting the future peer-to-peer digital economy. pic.twitter.com/JEOuflDMax
Emmer explained that the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act “specifically deals with what blockchain-related entities qualify as money transmitters” in the United States. If passed in the House of Representatives, the bill “will clear things up by affirming to the blockchain community that if you don’t custody customer funds, you are not a money transmitter,” Emmer added.
Despite the passing of these acts, a number of Republicans and Democrats refused to support another proposed piece of legislation, dubbed The Digital Assets Market Structure bill.
Democratic Representative Maxine Waters condemned the bill for too closely heeding the calls of the crypto industry and ignoring regulatory guidance from the SEC.
“As I have said before, we don’t need to invent new regulatory structures simply because crypto companies refuse to follow rules of the road. Our securities laws have protected investors and retirees for 90 years while supporting capital formation and facilitating innovation,” said Waters.
Additional reporting by Jesse Coghlan.