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Senators Lummis and Gillibrand set to present crypto bill in Congress, again

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Senators Lummis and Gillibrand set to present crypto bill in Congress, again

Senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand are reviving their proposed Responsible Financial Innovation Act to address ongoing discussions on cryptocurrency regulations.

After much anticipation, Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are set to revisit their cryptocurrency law, the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, next week, according to Fortune. This bill was brought into the spotlight amid the ongoing congressional discussion about the regulatory future of digital currencies.

Previous legislative endeavors in both the House and Senate were halted by the November collapse of FTX, which had a significant impact due to its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, being a well-known figure in D.C.

In the present legislative session, a variety of bills have been put forth, yet the proposal by Lummis and Gillibrand is by far the most comprehensive. Their bill tackles vital issues such as the structure of the market, the oversight of stablecoins, and tax concerns.

Lummis remarked to Fortune that their legislation is currently the most exhaustive proposal, providing significant consumer protections and addressing the current dynamics surrounding digital assets.

In June 2022, the two senators first unveiled their meticulously crafted proposal. This comprehensive blueprint was designed to navigate through the murky waters of the cryptocurrency industry, addressing hot-button topics such as the knotty issue of taxing transactions, establishing clear-cut regulations for stablecoins, and demarcating the overlapping jurisdictions of the SEC and the CFTC.

This bill doesn’t mirror the crypto bill put forth by Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) in the Senate Agriculture Committee. Instead, it stretches across multiple committees, thereby adding more intricacies during discussion, with Lummis being a part of the influential Senate Banking Committee.

(Not a) perfect timing

Following a turbulent end to 2022 for the crypto industry without any successful legislation, Lummis and Gillibrand indicated their intention to bring back their proposal. Although the bill was initially intended for circulation in April, the launch was pushed back until June due to a markup session held by the Senate Banking Committee in late June, marking their first since 2019.

Despite the Senate’s slow pace in introducing comprehensive crypto legislation, Ron Hammond, the director of government relations at the Blockchain Association, believes that Lummis will be at the forefront of these critical discussions.

However, even if the Republican-led House manages to vote on legislation, the Senate and particularly the Senate Banking Committee, which includes pronounced crypto skeptics, will still pose a significant barrier. According to Hammond, the committee’s history of not passing legislation means that the proposed bills will likely be appended to larger legislative initiatives.

The re-introduction of the crypto bill positions both senators, particularly Lummis, as leading voices in these negotiations. While the updated bill prioritizes consumer protection and enforces registration requirements for crypto projects, it may not sway the Senate’s vocal crypto critics but will surely reinsert the historically slow chamber into the discussion.

“In crypto policy, whether one is pro-crypto or anti-crypto, timing seems to be a very important factor,” Hammond added.