Congress Urged To Step Up Cryptocurrency Legislative Efforts

Stakeholders in the cryptocurrency industry have urged the U.S Congress to step up its legislative efforts or risk seeing the country fall behind in the emerging global cryptocurrency and blockchain technology narrative.

 

Securities Laws Inadequate for Virtual Currency Oversight

Recently, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) hosted over fifty digital currency leaders to a roundtable discussion at the Capitol Hill. Other attendees included Andreessen Horowitz, Nasdaq and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

One of the top issues discussed was the regulation of cryptocurrency markets. According to CNBC, the chief policy officer at Coinbase, Mike Lempres, said that all the crypto industry wanted was a fair regulation of the virtual currency market. Lempres further stated that the Congress should try new methods of regulation.

Another issue that was brought forward was the application of the Howey Test to cryptocurrencies. The securities law originated from a Supreme Court decision in 1946, which determined if a digital currency was a security or not. SEC boss, Jay Clayton, has, however, stated that there would be no upgrade in standard to favor digital currency.

The crypto group also said that because of unclear regulatory policies, most crypto companies couldn’t tell if their ICOs are regulatory compliant. The industry founders further noted that some of these ICOs should be treated as a commodity.

Moreover, if the government employs stringent regulations or is uncertain, there was going to be an exodus. Most companies will move to friendlier crypto countries, leaving the U.S. behind.

Falling Behind Europe and Asia

 

The United States is at the risk of falling behind its European and Asian counterparts who have strong cryptocurrency regulations. Some of these countries strive for blockchain and cryptocurrency dominance.

Malta, popularly referred to as the “Blockchain Island,” has attracted significant crypto companies to its soil. When Binance faced regulatory issues from Japan, the company moved to Malta, with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat welcoming the cryptocurrency. Other crypto exchanges like BitBay equally announced its move to the Island. The Island approved three cryptocurrency bills back in June.

Apart from Malta, Switzerland is also struggling to become a Blockchain hub. Initially regarded as “the crypto nation,” the country’s status dwindled as its financial institutions were unfriendly towards crypto companies.

Thailand is also favorable towards cryptocurrencies, as the country’s regulatory body approved seven crypto exchanges. Japan’s stance on crypto, however, is firm. But the regulatory agency has stated there are no plans to curb the crypto market.

 

Capitol Hill and Cryptocurrency

There have been various deliberations by U.S. Congressmen regarding cryptocurrency. While some support the digital currency, others outrightly kick against it. One of the opponents of cryptocurrency is Rep. Brad Sherman, who called for the outright ban of Bitcoin mining. Also, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver called for a crypto probe, as it is used for illicit activities.

However, some members of the Capitol Hill favor the advancement of cryptocurrency. Congressman Tom Emmer recently pledged his support for blockchain technology and digital currency.


Source
Author: 
Image Credit
Image Credit

THREE PRO-CRYPTOCURRENCY BILLS TO BE INTRODUCED TO CONGRESS

Three pieces of legislation will be brought before Congress by the co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. Their intent is to streamline the growing industry by introducing concise and transparent guidelines for businesses and investors, while also providing a safe harbor for taxpayers who use cryptocurrencies.   


 

ACCELERATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF BLOCKCHAIN TECH

Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN) announced September 21 that he will be introducing three bills aimed at supporting blockchain technology and digital currencies.

In an official release, the Congressman said:

The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology, and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills.

Emmers also asserted that legislators ought to be working towards embracing the emerging technologies as, well as providing a regulatory system which allows them to further advance.

Emmer’s position is in line with the overall legislative approach that the CFTC is urging for. As the Bitcoinist reported September 15, the Commission’s Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said:

I’m advocating the same approach to cryptocurrencies and all things having to do with this new digital revolution of markets, and of currencies, and of asset classes.

PRO-CRYPTOCURRENCY BILLS

The first bill that the congressman will push for is named “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” and it will create a safe harbor from state licensing requirements for non-custodial entities in the field. In other words, intermediaries which facilitate cryptocurrency operations without taking control of consumer funds won’t have to register as a money transmitter.

The next bill is called “Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act” and it attempts to provide protection from penalties for those taxpayers who benefit from a forked cryptocurrency.

Lastly, the Emmers will introduce a resolution which provides overall support for the cryptocurrency industry and its further development within the country.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


 

Source 
Author: GEORGI GEORGIEV 
Image Credit

US Congressmen Start to Disclose Their Crypto Ownership

Bob Goodlatte, Republican congressman from Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in the US, holds as much as USD 80,000 in cryptocurrency, according to a Sludge report on Monday, citing the congressman’s annual financial disclosure.

LIONBIT

Following new rules passed in June this year, members of the House of Representatives are now required to disclose any holdings of cryptocurrency along with other financial assets on an annual basis. According to the disclosure, at the time Goodlatte owned up to USD 50,000 in Bitcoin, and up to USD 15,000 each in Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum.

While the disclosure from Goodlatte was filed before the new rules about disclosure of cryptocurrency holdings went into effect, it is expected that several other members of Congress will report holdings of cryptocurrencies before next year’s deadline.

TIP

In addition, Sludge reports that Goodlatte’s son, Bobby Goodlatte Jr., is an investor in the popular US-based fiat-to-crypto exchange Coinbase. Goodlatte Jr. has been an outspoken bitcoin bull, tweeting in May about his investment case for Bitcoin and why it is a better investment than any startup.

Sludge further points out that one of the richest members of Congress, Democrat Jared Polis of Colorado was a co-founder of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, which, among other things, have introduced legislation to facilitate the adoption of blockchain technology in the government.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: Fredrik Vold
Image Credit


Don’t forget to join our Twitter channel for Crypto, Business & Technology news delivered to you daily.

U.S. Congress Should Make Cryptocurrency a Key Focus: House Rep.

At a Congressional hearing earlier this year, a key member affirmed his intention “to not sit by idly” while the cryptocurrency investors remain unprotected.

That congressman, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), has once again called Congress for oversight of what he believes is a “muddled and fairly opaque” cryptocurrency market. A contender to lead the House Financial Services Committee, Huizenga promised to make cryptocurrency regulation his crucial agenda, if he assumes the office after the midterm elections this year.

The statement, first reported by Bloomberg, arrives in the wake of growing securities frauds, both in the U.S. and abroad. People are reportedly investing their life savings into imaginary projects backed by worthless digital currencies. An ICO market study by MIT professor Christian Catini revealed that 85% of all ICO investment has been directed at scams.

In response, U.S. and Canadian regulatory bodies have accelerated an “Operation Crypto Sweep” that targets companies found to be indulged in “crypto-scams.” By the end of May, the North American enforcement had already issued cease-and-desist letters to more than 40 local companies.

While the enforcement continues their operations, government agencies around the globe have unknowingly expressed a paradox — a puzzled stance — when it comes to regulating cryptocurrencies. A decentralized asset’s multifaceted nature, which allows it to be used as a currency, stock or even commodity, does not suit the traditional regulation standards that categorize asset classes based on their use case. Huizenga also expressed concerns over classifying cryptocurrencies, while adding that US regulators would push for a law that brings bitcoin and other decentralized assets into the categories of stock or currency.

“Everyone’s trying to figure out whether it’s fish or fowl,” he remarked. “It turns out it might be a platypus. It’s kind of an unknown or something sort of in between. How do we deal with that?”

U.S. Congress’ Divided View on Cryptocurrency

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) this year had called for a cryptocurrency regulation that protects investors as much as it catalyzes technological innovation. Ted Budd, another Congressman, had also argued that the U.S. should “get it right” before coming up with any potentially rushed policy.

Rep. Brad Sherman, California, on the other hand, has publicly called Bitcoin a “crock,” arguing that the digital currency has “the ability to help terrorists, criminals, tax evaders and start-up companies looking to commit fraud.” He called for a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading.

The year 2018 continues to be a regulatory-centric period for cryptocurrencies. As bitcoin and its peers become the critical focus in U.S. Congress, it would be difficult to expect a funambulist out of them, owing to a directionless effort. Approaching a global crypto regulatory framework, as proposed by European Commission’s Vice President, Valdis Dombrovskis, could still be an option to explore.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: Yashu Gola  
Image Credit 

Don’t forget to join our Telegram channel for Crypto, Business & Technology news delivered to you daily.

US Congressman Calls for Ban on Crypto Buying and Mining

A U.S. lawmaker has called for a blanket ban on cryptocurrency buying.

Congressman Brad Sherman is no stranger to controversial statements on the subject – back in March he called cryptocurrencies “a crock” – and during the Wednesday hearing of a subcommittee for the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, he went so far as to advocate keeping Americans out of the market entirely.



“We should prohibit U.S. persons from buying or mining cryptocurrencies,” the California Democrat declared. He added that, beyond cryptocurrencies being potentially used as a form of money in the future, it can currently be used by tax evaders and rogue states seeking to bypass U.S. sanctions.

One of the panelists, Norbert Michel, director for the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation, pushed back against the idea that criminal use should define cryptocurrencies as a whole.

Michel told the subcommittee:

“Yes it is true that criminals have used bitcoin, but it’s also true that criminals have used airplanes, computers and automobiles. We shouldn’t criminalize any of those instruments simply because criminals used them.”

“Those components I believe are the main barriers to widespread adoption in the U.S,” he added.

No love for CBDCs

Though much of the hearing revolved around general monetary policy and history, the crypto-specific portions revealed a general opposition to the idea of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

To quickly recap: a number of central banks around the world have been investigating the idea of using some of the technology concepts behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as part of new, wholly digital money systems. The idea is that the tech can boost transparency and efficiency.

But some of those looking into the subject have warned that it could amplify the risk of bank runs, and several institutions have sworn off the idea entirely following their research.

Alex Pollock, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, blasted the concept during Wednesday’s hearing, declaring it “a terrible idea – one of the worst financial ideas of recent times.”

Other committee members couldn’t help but agree that the idea, at the very least, raised more fundamental questions about how blockchain and cryptocurrencies actually work.

Congressman Bill Foster asked about blockchain immutability, saying “the promise of blockchain is a non-falsifiable ledger … [what] remains an unsolved problem in the digital world is how do you authenticate yourself?”

Payments boon

On a more positive note, Dr. Eswar Prasad, senior professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University, argued that the existence of cryptocurrencies had the potential to impact the financial services system, particularly the payments system, in positive ways.

According to Prasad, cryptocurrencies could “make transactions much easier … and bring down the cost,” but the benefits are limited at the moment.

Michel himself noted:

“It is certainly difficult to imagine a cryptocurrency replacing the U.S. dollar as long as the Federal Reserve acts as a moderately good steward of the national currency, but it is for this very reason that Congress should eliminate barriers that impede people from using their preferred medium of exchange.”

Ultimately, the hearing was cut short in order to make way for a House vote.

However, just prior to dispersing the attendees, chairman Andy Barr noted that cryptocurrencies will “continue to have a greater and greater impact on our financial system,” making it a topic the committee would likely have to “revisit” once again.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author Christine Kim 
Image Credit

Congress Is Now Holding Two Crypto Hearings This Wednesday

Congress is set to hold not one but two separate hearings related to cryptocurrencies on Wednesday.



Last week, CoinDesk reported that the House Committee on Financial Services will gather this week to discuss the subject, with this particular hearing honing in on the question of crypto as a new form of money. A memo published since that news first broke notably states that members will examine “the extent to which the U.S. government should consider cryptocurrencies as money and the potential domestic and global uses for cryptocurrencies.”

That same day, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Cryptocurrencies: Oversight of New Assets in the Digital Age.” In a statement, chairman Michael Conaway explained that the hearing seeks to “shed light on the promise of digital assets and the regulatory challenges facing this new asset class.”

It’s a noteworthy statement, declaring that at least some in the U.S. national legislature hold the view that cryptocurrencies constitute a new kind of asset.

“Our committee has a deep interest in promoting strong markets for commodities of all types, including those emerging through new technology,” Conaway added.

Together, the hearings represent a double-header of sorts, and CoinDesk has confirmed both hearings will be live-streamed from Capitol Hill, Washington, DC. The Agriculture Committee hearing will take place at 10 a.m. EST while the Financial Services Committee’s hearing will occur at 2 p.m. EST.

According to the Financial Services Committee memo, the witnesses set to appear are: Dr. Rodney Garratt of University of California Santa Barbara; Dr. Norbert Michel of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis; Dr. Eswar Prasad, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; and Mr. Alex Pollock, a senior fellow for the R Street Institute.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

Source
Author: Christine Kim 
Image Credit

Don’t forget to join our Telegram channel for Crypto, Business & Technology news delivered to you daily.