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US Congress reviews bills, aims to establish crypto framework

us-congress-reviews-bills-aims-to-establish-crypto-framework
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US Congress reviews bills, aims to establish crypto framework

This week, the principal congressional committee reviews multiple bills as they seek to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for the crypto industry.

The occasion marks a pivotal turning point for federal engagement in digital asset regulation, building upon previous endeavors led by the House Financial Services Committee.

Drafting of crypto regulation is partly driven by recent losses suffered by investors due to the abrupt downfall of several companies, including Voyager Digital, Celsius Network, and FTX. This underscores the urgency for legislative intervention. 

Proposed bills aim to create a dichotomy for categorizing a crypto asset as a security or a commodity while also outlining a supervisory mechanism for stablecoins—digital tokens typically anchored to traditional assets like the US dollar.

The upcoming markups are a crucial legislative procedure for debate and voting on these crypto-related bills.

This stage will pave the way for a full vote by the House of Representatives, making it an unprecedented moment in Congress for the cryptocurrency industry.

Crypto advocates consider this step a triumph as the industry’s long-standing request for regulatory clarity is being addressed. Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association, emphasized that this is the most significant legislative milestone for the crypto industry.

There is uncertainty surrounding the bipartisan support for these bills. 

Specifically, potential enactment of laws depends heavily on the support from Democratic members, and the Democratic-led Senate is expected to present additional hurdles. 

Sherrod Brown, the head of the Senate Banking Committee, is skeptical about the necessity for further cryptocurrency regulation.

The Republican chair of the committee, Representative Patrick McHenry, advocates for a crypto market structure bill seeking to extend the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) jurisdiction over the crypto sector while defining the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) role in response to the crypto community’s grievances over perceived overreaches by the agency. 

McHenry noted that the United States risked falling behind other jurisdictions, such as the UK, EU, Singapore, and Australia, with well-defined regulatory frameworks for digital assets.

The proposal has garnered support from the crypto sector, with expectations that Democratic backing could lead to the bill’s passage in the Senate.

Miller Whitehouse-Levine, the CEO of DeFi Education Fund, emphasized the importance of bipartisan backing for a lasting impact.

Overall, the outcomes of these legislative efforts could significantly influence the future of crypto regulation in the United States.