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US House Financial Services Committee Approves First Crypto Regulatory Framework Bill

On Wednesday, a critical committee of the US House of Representatives approved a cross-party legislation aimed at providing regulatory certainty for digital currencies.

The House Financial Services Committee gave its consent to a bill initiated by Republicans by a 35-15 majority, with certain Democrats such as Jim Himes of Connecticut and Ritchie Torres of New York expressing their support.

This two-party legislation, named the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, seeks to provide distinct regulations for cryptocurrency companies regarding their registration with either the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The proposed legislation also seeks to categorize cryptocurrencies either as securities or commodities, and it aims to broaden the oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over the cryptocurrency industry.

The legislative meeting on Wednesday saw a significant turnout of lawmakers. The committee’s chair, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), lauded the bill, remarking that it’s the first time a committee has approved a bill specifically focused on cryptocurrency. He underscored the bill’s importance in preventing the US from lagging behind other jurisdictions in terms of cryptocurrency regulation.

The comprehensive legislation concerning digital asset market structure acknowledges a crucial point: digital assets that are not innately securities might be offered as part of an investment contract, but it doesn’t inherently make them securities.

The House Agriculture Committee is slated to begin its own examination of the 21 Century Act on Thursday. This move arises as Republicans express concerns that, in the absence of a clear regulatory framework, cryptocurrency companies may opt to shift their operations overseas.

In addition to the cryptocurrency regulation bill, the influential committee, led by Republican Congressman Tom Emmer and Democratic Congressman Darren Soto, also approved the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act.

This act seeks to provide clear guidance for “blockchain developers and service providers,” which includes miners and multisignature service providers.

On Wednesday, Emmer heralded the passing of the Blockchain bill as a “significant victory” for the United States, indicating that it brings the nation one step closer to empowering Americans to shape the future of the peer-to-peer digital economy.

Lawmakers supporting these bills aim to establish unequivocal regulations for cryptocurrency companies when registering with authorities and delivering cryptocurrency services to US clients. Nevertheless, several legislators, including Representative Maxine Waters, declined to express support for the bill.

Waters indicated that the bill would only serve to amplify confusion and would lessen investor protection. She stated, “This bill heeds the calls from the crypto industry while disregarding the views of the administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and consumer and investor advocates.”

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I want to save money. Will cryptocurrency work?

Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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