Cryptocurrencies

Several cryptocurrency companies and advocacy groups have urged state lawmakers

Several cryptocurrency companies and advocacy groups have urged US lawmakers to support legislation clarifying the roles of the country’s financial regulators regarding digital assets.

In a May 16 letter to the leadership of the US House of Representatives, nearly 60 companies represented by the Council on Cryptocurrency Innovation (CCI) called on lawmakers to pass HR4763, or the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century (FIT21) Act. The bill, which was passed by the House Financial Services Committee in July 2023, would clarify how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulate digital assets.

“We recognize that FIT 21 will present new compliance challenges for digital asset companies, but regulatory clarity is undoubtedly more accountable, safer for consumers and preferable to the status quo,” the CCI said. “Currently, digital asset companies are required to somehow comply with US securities laws that were designed nearly 100 years ago without regard to today’s technological advances, including the ability to move transactions at the speed of the Internet.”

Source: CCI

Coinbase, Circle, Block, Kraken, Gemini, and Stand With Crypto were among the signatories of the letter. The advocacy group urged American voters to contact their representatives and support the bill.

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry said the FIT21 bill could be ready for a full floor vote “later this month” after it is considered in the Rules Committee. That would give lawmakers roughly five days in session before June. Several lawmakers, including Rep. French Hill, have already indicated they intend to vote in favor of the legislation.

In the past 10 days, the House and Senate passed a resolution to repeal an SEC rule on how banks are expected to handle digital assets. Although the legislation received bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, US President Joe Biden said he intends to veto it.

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According to digital asset advocate and Senator Cynthia Lummis, the decision overturning the SEC rule marked the first time this session of Congress had passed “standalone cryptocurrency legislation.” It is unclear whether lawmakers will follow suit in passing FIT21. The White House has not suggested whether President Biden would immediately sign the bill into law if it passes the House and Senate.

The potential passage of the two cryptocurrency bills comes as the United States moves deeper into an election year. President Biden and former President Donald Trump, the presumptive nominees of the Democratic and Republican parties in 2024, have agreed to hold two debates on June 27 and September 10 where cryptocurrencies could be a topic of discussion.

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