U.S. House Committee Unanimously Passes Blockchain Bill
Source: Yahoo Finance
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce made significant strides on Tuesday by unanimously passing a blockchain bill. This legislation entrusts the Secretary of Commerce with the responsibility of advancing the competitiveness of the United States concerning the “deployment, use, application, and competitiveness of blockchain technology or other distributed ledger technology.”
During the session on December 5, the Committee overwhelmingly approved the draft bill with 46 votes in favor and 0 against. The bill, titled the “Deploying American Blockchains Act of 2023,” will now proceed to a full House vote.
This bipartisan move received positive reactions from industry insiders. Cody Carbone, Vice President of Policy for the Chamber of Digital Commerce, expressed on social media with the following statement, “This bipartisan bill will help preserve U.S. leadership in blockchain development, which is sorely needed.” Meanwhile, Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association, stated that the bill “rightfully advances our nation’s competitiveness in this nascent space.”
Spanning 13 pages, the bill instructs Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to take various actions to advance blockchain technology in the U.S. This includes establishing best practices for both the public and private sectors, creating policies and recommendations, initiating a Blockchain Deployment Program, and examining how federal agencies can benefit from utilizing blockchain technology.
The bill will join several other digital asset-related legislations in heading for a full House vote.
In response to the collapses and scandals in the digital asset space in 2022 and 2023, accompanied by regulatory crackdowns from entities like the Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC), Congress has been actively working on advancing regulation.
In July, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee passed a series of digital asset-related bills aimed at providing consumer protections and legislative clarity for the digital asset ecosystem.
The FIT for the 21st Century Act, Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, Financial Technology Protection Act of 2023, and Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act of 2023 are among the key pieces of legislation. The FIT for the 21st Century Act, in particular, widens the regulatory authority of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and narrows that of the SEC.
The Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, supported by Rep. Tom Emmer, aims to exempt blockchain developers and service providers from being deemed financial institutions or money service businesses, provided they don’t control consumer funds.
Rep. Zach Nunn’s “Financial Technology Protection Act of 2023” establishes a working group to combat terrorism and illicit financing, encouraging public-private sector collaborations in addressing issues related to illicit finance in the digital asset ecosystem.
Lastly, the Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act of 2023, proposed by Rep. Patrick McHenry, seeks to create a regulatory framework for payment stablecoins.
If the bills, including the Deploying American Blockchains Act of 2023, pass in a full House vote, they will undergo Senate scrutiny before returning for final congressional and presidential approval.
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