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Crypto industry sees mixed results from Congress pre-recess

TL;DR

  • House Committee advanced a regulatory framework for stablecoins.
  • Another framework passed, clarifying when a digital asset is a commodity or a security.
  • The Senate included anti-crypto measures in a defense funding bill.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren reintroduced a bill targeting illicit crypto activities.

As the halls of Congress emptied out for the September recess, the days leading up to the break witnessed a flurry of legislative action around digital assets.

In this legislative whirlwind, the crypto industry experienced a mix of fortunes, with significant progress on some fronts contrasted by potential legislative roadblocks on others.

Progress amid controversy: The house takes action

In a concerted effort to introduce regulatory oversight in the crypto space, the House Financial Services Committee pushed forth a bill to lay out a definitive framework for issuing payment stablecoins.

The Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act, the brainchild of Committee Chair Rep. Patrick McHenry, promises a harmonized federal groundwork to oversee these digital assets.

It demands that stablecoins maintain a one-to-one backing with select high-quality liquid assets for consumer protection.

While the bill received bipartisan support from members including Rep. Jim Himes and Rep. Josh Gottheimer, it also sparked dissent. Some Democrats contended the bill dilutes its own stipulations by permitting federal or state regulators to augment the list of suitable reserve assets.

Additionally, the Committee greenlighted another framework, marking a significant stride in crypto regulation. This new policy outlines the criteria for categorizing a digital asset as a commodity or a security, setting the stage for oversight.

Despite the controversies, the endorsement of these bills after nearly 14 months of deliberation among Committee members is seen as a shot in the arm for the crypto industry. This comes especially after the industry’s standing on Capitol Hill took a hit with the fall of crypto behemoth FTX last year.

Senate’s tightened reins on crypto industry

However, the crypto industry’s celebrations were short-lived as the Senate moved to curb the burgeoning influence of crypto. As part of a sprawling defense funding bill passed late Thursday, the Senate incorporated several measures that the crypto industry has vehemently opposed.

The Senate authorized the Treasury Department to establish examination standards to forestall the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities. Furthermore, the Department got the green light to study how to combat anonymous crypto transactions and propose relevant legislation.

Leading the charge was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who underscored the increasing preference of rogue nations, drug traffickers, cyber attackers, and fraudsters for crypto.

She argued that these entities launder money, evade sanctions, and profit from catastrophic cyberattacks through digital assets.

To this end, she reintroduced her bill, the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which received bipartisan support, including from Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Roger Marshall, and Sen. Lindsey Graham.

What lies ahead

The Senate defense bill, which includes these measures, will face reconciliation with a House version later this year.

Meanwhile, although the House’s crypto bills are likely to receive substantial backing in the Republican-dominated House, they could meet with resistance in the Senate, where Democrats hold sway.

So, as the dust settles on Capitol Hill for the September recess, the crypto industry finds itself navigating through mixed legislative signals. With clear regulatory frameworks in the pipeline, the sector is gaining some legitimacy.

All eyes will now be on the post-recess session, which promises more heated debates and decisive action on the crypto frontier.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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