US Rep, Tom Emmer, Reintroduces Bill Aimed At Defining Cryptocurrencies Under Securities Act
The United States Representative Tom Emmer has again introduced a bipartisan bill called the Securities Clarity Act. The bill is aimed at defining how federal regulators treat digital assets under securities laws.
Crypto Bill Gets Democratic Co-Sponsors Backing
Emmer first introduced the bill in September 2020, but it didn't pass the Democrat-controlled House. The bill faded right after it was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.
However, Emmer is back with the bill, but this time with the support of Democratic co-sponsors; Darren Soto and Ro Khanna.
The Securities Clarity Act aims to make regulators accept digital assets as commodities and not securities. This means if the law is passed, crypto firms would be free to sell and trade cryptocurrencies without registering them as securities with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).
The bill argues that there should be a distinction between investment contracts and the assets that underlie them. This means that, while an investment contract can be a security, its accompanying token or coin is not.
Emmer noted that while several countries have taken a different approach towards digital assets, the US has hindered the sector's growth, pointing to continued regulatory uncertainty surrounding crypto assets.
“There has been an unreasonable approach by regulators as to how federal securities laws should be applied to transactions involving the sale of blockchain-based tokens, and this lack of clarity is hurting American innovation.”
The Securities Clarity Act has since garnered endorsements and support from several blockchain and cryptocurrency stakeholders. This includes the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the Blockchain Association, and the Coin Center.
US Authorities Focusing More On Crypto Regulation
The US appears to be putting more effort into drafting out regulations for the crypto market at the moment. Last month the US House of Representatives passed a crypto-related bill aimed at studying and exploring the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
The bill titled the Consumer Safety Technology Act was sponsored by Rep. Jerry McNerny and co-sponsored by Rep. Darren Soto.
There have also been congressional hearings in the US where crypto regulation was key on the agenda. In May, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, during a house hearing related to the GameStop short squeeze incident, called for more regulation to protect crypto assets.
Gensler disclosed his intention to work with Congress on investor protection, citing fraud and market manipulation as major concerns.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) had also previously made known that she was forming a group of Democratic House members to tackle concerns about cryptocurrency. This was announced during a House Fintech Task Force hearing about the future of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).