Last month, the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) approved a slew of proposals related to the regulation of digital assets. One of these initiatives may be the first in the history of the United States to include laws related to cryptocurrencies.
Here’s a brief overview of the differences between the most important laws and what they could mean for cryptocurrency as a whole.
4 Cryptocurrency bills: A brief overview
The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (also known as FIT 21), which received bipartisan support (all Republicans + 6 Democrats) from the HFSC last week, was one of the most high-profile proposals to gain approval.
This measure will make it clear which agency – the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – has authority over digital assets.
While many Democrats saw the law as pro-industry, others said it was a significant improvement over the current quo and would “create clarity where there is none.”
The next day, the committee discussed the Payment Stablecoin Act of 2023, which would outline the Federal Reserve’s regulatory authority over the industry and provide clear guidelines for issuing stablecoins.
The Democrats once again criticized the measure, calling it “deeply flawed” and hasty on the part of Chairman Patrick McHenry. The Treasury Department and the White House disagreed. Nevertheless, the law was approved with the support of 3 Democrats and Republicans.
The committee also approved the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, which ensures that blockchain service providers that do not hold customer assets will not be considered money service organizations under the law.
This would theoretically solve the problems with President Biden’s 2021 infrastructure bill, which subjects “digital asset brokers” – a word that can encompass miners, nodes, and validators – to intolerable transaction reporting requirements.
Finally, Congress passed the Keep Your Coins Act of 2023. This law merely ensures that US residents will have the freedom to keep their own cryptocurrency and spend it as they see fit.
A bill with a similar purpose to the feed-in tariff 21 was drafted in the Senate by Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will be empowered to more aggressively protect consumer rights and clearly define the difference between digital securities and commodities. As part of the new consumer protection measures, cryptocurrency companies will have to demonstrate their reserves and clearly state their risks.
The senators argue that their revised draft will not give the CFTC overly broad jurisdiction, unlike the version of the law introduced last year.