Congress Passes Bill That Would Provide Regulatory Clarity On Cryptocurrencies

The United States House of Representatives has passed a bill that aims to provide regulatory clarity to Bitcoin.

The bill called “The Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021” was first introduced to the Financial Services Committee in March by ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC).

The US Moves To Make Crypto Regulations Clearer

The bill, one of the six bipartisan financial services-related bills passed by the House on Tuesday, with the McHenry-sponsored legislation, would see US financial regulators working together on digital asset rules.

The duty or roles of agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the policing of cryptocurrencies in the country would be outlined in the bill.

The bill would also answer questions and misconceptions regarding cryptocurrencies, securities, and other cogent issues.

While addressing the floor on the Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act, McHenry said that a working group would be composed of both SEC and CFTC employees.

The group would also include FinTech companies working in the digital asset sphere, financial firms overseen by either agency, academic researchers, investor watchdog groups, and small- and medium-scale enterprises. McHenry stated in the press release,

“[This bill] requires the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to establish a working group focused on digital assets. This is the first step in opening up the dialogue between our regulators and market participants and move to needed clarity.”

Under the terms of the bill, Congress would be given 90 days to establish the working group among the participants. Once constituted, the group would have a year to issue a report analyzing the current crypto regulatory climate.

The panel's work would also focus on matters like crypto custody, cybersecurity, private key management, and investor protection concerns.

U.S Unclear Crypto Regulations

In the past, the US has been accused of having unclear regulations concerning cryptocurrencies.

Crypto companies have been on the receiving end. Take, for instance, the SEC's ongoing lawsuit against blockchain firm Ripple Labs.

The SEC sued Ripple over the issuance of XRP, which the agency claims to be a commodity, while the regulator says they are securities.

In December 2020, the agency alleged that Ripple had conducted unregistered security offerings for over $1 billion between 2013 and 2017.

Last month, Brad Garlinghouse bashed the US for not clarifying their crypto regulations. He argued that the US was lagging behind other countries like the United Kingdom, Japan, and Switzerland in cryptocurrency regulations due to the regulatory uncertainty.

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