Examining the 3 Blockchain, Crypto Bills Heading to Congress
Upon the Congressional Blockchain Caucus adding two new bipartisan co-chairs this week, the body’s mission to bring about regulatory clarity in America’s nook of the cryptoverse is growing. Now, Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer, the caucus’s new co-chair, has said he’ll introduce three crypto-friendly bills on the Hill. Let’s take a look at what the bills would entail for U.S. bitcoiners.
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Rep. Emmer Takes Point on Crypto in Congress
American cryptocurrency users having been pleading for further regulatory clarity for years, and they may finally be getting it if Rep. Emmer’s two forthcoming crypto-centric bills and a related resolution eventually gain traction on the House floor.
Rep. Emmer’s office announced the legislative initiatives upon himself and Illinois Rep. Bill Foster joining the fledgling Congressional Blockchain Caucus (CBC) as co-chairs this week. Caucuses are inter- or intra-party independent factions within America’s legislative branch that are oftentimes focused around a singular policy issue.
The two will now strategize alongside the CBC’s inaugural bipartisan co-chairs, Colorado’s Rep. Jared Polis and Arizona’s Rep. David Schweiker, who formally launched the group in February 2017.
For his own part, Rep. Emmer didn’t waste any time after joining the CBC to announce three bills he’d be introducing imminently, each aimed at making crypto regulations considerably more user-friendly in the United States. Let’s briefly walk through each of the three.
1) The ‘Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act‘
You can tell crypto is starting to trend toward the mainstream when “Forked Assets” has made its regulatory introduction into a congressional bill’s name.
That’s what we have in this Act, which Rep. Emmer is set to put forth in order to create a “safe harbor” for those who have sincerely attempted to pay taxes on forked digital assets in spite of currently confusing guidance from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
It’s a bill whose passing would be welcomed in the cryptoverse, where numerous prominent forks occurred in 2017.
2) The ‘Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act‘
This bill’s name should also sound like music to the ears of U.S. cryptocurrency entrepreneurs the nation over. Why?
If passed, this Act would exempt cryptocurrency businesses that are not custody-focused from state-level money transmission laws that have previously been smothering obstacles for such enterprises in the past.
In recent years, many have said America has started to fall behind in the global cryptocurrency innovation rat race. This Act could see that dynamic begun to be reversed.
3) Resolution ‘Expressing Support for Digital Currencies and Blockchain Technology‘
As a non-binding resolution, this initiative could be likened to a congressional rallying cry calling for a full-on, formal embrace of the cryptoverse by the U.S. federal government.
Or, as Rep. Emmer specifically puts it in the resolution:
“[…] the United States Government should create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on blockchain innovation and further the growth and success of blockchain networks and digital currencies.”
Hello Politicos: Crypto Going to D.C.
Rep. Emmer’s three bills could mark a pivotal legislative embrace of cryptocurrencies in America as bitcoin nears its 10-year anniversary. In the very least, the bills will start tangible, consequential conversations on the Hill from which there’s no going back from.
The bills comprise just the latest crypto-related headline linked to Washington D.C. this year.
For instance, Coinbase formed a Political Action Committee to represent its interests in the Capitol in July. Then, in September, the exchange joined up with the likes of Circle, Polychain Capital, and others to create the Blockchain Association, a new lobbying group. And it’s official: some in Congress now even own crypto themselves.
It seems the tide may be turning.
What’s your take? Do you think Rep. Emmer’s bills are a step forward for U.S. crypto users? Let us know where you stand in the comments section below.
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