US House Agriculture Committee Paves The Way For Revolutionary Crypto Regulations
- US House Agriculture Committee advances landmark crypto market regulation bill.
- Bipartisan support propels the most significant digital asset legislation in Congress.
- Bill seeks a comprehensive framework, blending securities and commodities regulations for digital assets.
In a display of bipartisanship and cooperative spirit, the United States House of Representatives Agriculture Committee proceeded with the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act on July 27.
This legislation aims to revamp the regulation of crypto markets in the country, and it marks a significant milestone as the most substantial digital asset bill to advance this far in Congress.
Following a similar move by the House Financial Services Committee, the House Agriculture Committee’s advancement of the bill signifies the growing momentum in Congress to address the regulation of digital assets comprehensively. The legislation is expected to be brought before the entire House of Representatives for a vote in the near future. However, uncertainty still looms in the Senate, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has expressed skepticism about the effort.
The bill itself represents a unique cross-jurisdictional effort co-authored by members of both the Agriculture and Financial Services Committees. Its primary goal is to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. Nonetheless, during the debates in the Financial Services Committee, concerns were raised by Democratic members, particularly regarding consumer protections.
One of the major points of contention was the absence of third-party auditing provisions in the bill. Ranking member David Scott emphasized the need to strengthen consumer protections, while also drawing attention to the fact that funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) did not align with the additional responsibilities outlined in the legislation. Nevertheless, it was clarified that the bill does provide the CFTC with the minimum funding level requested by Chair Rostin Behnam.
Despite initial disagreements, the House Agriculture Committee eventually exhibited bipartisan cooperation. Amendments were proposed and debated, and while not all were accepted, the legislation continued to progress. For instance, an amendment proposed by Rep. Yadira Caraveo, requiring provisionally registered parties to belong to a futures trade association, was passed to enhance oversight while regulations are being developed.
The legislation, known as the ‘FIT for the 21st Century Act’, had garnered some Democratic support in the Agriculture Committee, although the exact level of bipartisan support was challenging to gauge due to the voice vote. House Republicans and industry advocates worked diligently to secure Democratic backing, recognizing the importance of generating enough momentum to overcome skepticism in the Democrat-majority Senate.
Republican Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson praised the bill as a significant milestone, emphasizing its role in establishing a much-needed regulatory framework for digital assets. He highlighted the importance of protecting consumers and investors while fostering American leadership in finance and technology.
The ‘FIT for the 21st Century Act’ grants the Commodity Futures Trading Commission greater authority and funding to oversee crypto spot markets, particularly focusing on digital commodities such as Bitcoin. Additionally, the legislation directs regulators to develop a clear pathway for digital assets to transition from securities to commodities, easing disclosure requirements for the latter. Furthermore, the bill introduces a streamlined process for securities-style capital raises through digital asset offerings, with $120 million being allocated to the CFTC‘s budget for three years by redirecting funds from the SEC.
As the bill heads for consideration in the House of Representatives, the landscape of crypto market regulation in the United States stands on the cusp of significant change. The future remains uncertain as it awaits further debates in the Senate and the SEC’s response, but the commitment to bipartisan cooperation and comprehensive regulation remains at the forefront of the legislative efforts.
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