US Rep Emmer Reintroduces Bill Allows a “Safe Harbor” Against Broad Money Transmission Laws


Cryptocurrencies are still being regulated in different ways within the United States, which means that some of their actions fall under restrictive money laundering laws, based on their use and classification. U.S. Representative Tom Emmer has voiced his desire to support crypto companies that are dealing with the money transmission laws at the state level, going as far as submitting a bill aims to help create exceptions for the firms without cryptocurrency storage options.

The bill, House Resolution 528 is meant “to provide a safe harbor from licensing and registration for certain non-controlling blockchain services.” Basically, companies that don’t hold the coins for their users, though they may still use and trade cryptocurrencies, would not be subject to the same money transmission laws that are presently in placed, if the law is passed.

The 115th Congress introduced a bill identical to this one last year. Still, the bill has a few changes that could make it possible for the House to pass with greater ease, or at least increase its odds.

The current version has bipartisan support, which the previous version could not boast. A co-sponsor for the bill, Darren Soto, has also voiced his support.

A spokesperson told CoinDesk, “This time around, this bill… will be referred to the Financial Services committee which Congressman Emmer sits on, and we intend to see the House take up the measure.”

Coin Center, an advocacy group in D.C., has formerly stated, “State money transmission licensing laws are broadly drafted and carry harsh penalties for failure to comply.” Their comments came just after the bill way introduced. However, the group noted that the problem before was that “only custodians present a risk of loss that would be sensibly addressed through licensing.”

Jerry Brito, the executive director with Coin Center, communicated through a spokesperson to note that he was hopeful about the bill moving through,

“even though the Hill is focused on other priorities at the moment.” He added, “We worked closely with Rep. Emmer and his staff to develop this bill last year and we’re very happy to see it reintroduced in this new Congress with bipartisan support.”

At this point, the Judiciary committee and Financial Services committee are in possession of the bill, according to information on congress.gov.

Each of the authorities need to consider their mandates, and how the provisions of the bill correlate.

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