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House Mulls Digital Asset Regulation

House Mulls Digital Asset Regulation

On May 10, the House Financial Services Committee declared its plan to deliberate on the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century (FIT21) Act. This move sets the stage for a critical vote on the floor later in May, reflecting a significant stride toward clarity and regulatory surety for cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Chairman Glenn Thompson, together with Rep. French Hill, Rep. Dusty Johnson, Whip Tom Emmer, and Rep. Warren Davidson, introduced the FIT21 Act. The bill aims to clarify federal requirements for cryptocurrency markets, ensuring consumer protections and fostering growth in the U.S. crypto industry.

Patrick McHenry, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, stressed the FIT21 Act’s role in resolving regulatory ambiguities that have hindered innovation and left consumers vulnerable. He noted that the bill is a result of years of bipartisan efforts to establish regulatory transparency.

Regulatory Framework and Consumer Protection

The proposed legislation will enhance transparency, accountability, and consumer protections in the cryptocurrency sector. It assigns new regulatory powers over crypto commodities to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Additionally, it defines the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) oversight concerning digital assets that are part of an investment contract.

In response to recent turmoil in the crypto markets, such as the FTX collapse, Congressman French Hill emphasized the necessity for robust consumer protections and a well-defined regulatory framework. This framework will not only protect investors and consumers but also position America as a frontrunner in blockchain innovation.

Echoing the need for definitive regulations, U.S. Representative Ro Khanna from California’s 17th district highlighted how regulatory uncertainty has shifted innovation and job opportunities offshore. He supports the FIT21 Act, contingent on the exclusion of harmful amendments. Khanna advocates for clearer definitions of securities versus commodities and the implementation of safeguards against scams.

As the legislative process progresses, Khanna remains committed to backing amendments that bolster consumer protections, demonstrating a collective effort to ensure a secure and innovative future for digital assets in the U.S.

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