US House Republicans propose cryptocurrency oversight bill and amend June draft

Author: Aoyon Ashraf, CoinDesk; Translation: Song Xue, LianGuai

Republican lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a new digital asset regulatory bill on Thursday aimed at establishing a regulatory framework to protect investors in the crypto industry.

Glenn “GT” Thompson, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania, said in a statement: “The introduction of the 21st Century Financial Innovation and Technology Act in the House of Representatives today marks an important milestone in the efforts of the House Agriculture and Financial Services Committees to establish a regulatory framework that protects consumers and investors and fosters America’s leadership position in the digital asset space.

This bill is one of several comprehensive rules proposed in recent years for digital assets. At the time of its introduction, there was perceived lack of regulatory clarity, and a wave of aggressive enforcement actions was prompting mature cryptocurrency companies to consider leaving the United States and hindering the establishment of startups in the U.S.

The bill introduced on Thursday was first drafted in early June and aims to establish a regulatory pathway for cryptocurrency exchanges to register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and enable them to trade digital securities, commodities, and stablecoins in one place.

“The crypto industry was hoping for clarity, and our bipartisan bill gives both the CFTC and the SEC a seat at the table. Our legislation establishes clear principles to ensure financial security and certainty for digital asset developers as they continue to innovate,” said Dusty Johnson (R-S.D) in a statement.

Gabriel Shapiro, General Counsel at Delphi Labs, pointed out that there is a change from the draft discussed in June that, in his view, “completely changes the value proposition of the bill” and reintroduces the ambiguity it was trying to address.

On page 10, the revised bill excludes a range of traditional securities from the definition of “digital assets,” such as stocks, bonds, “transferable shares,” and “equity or participation certificates in any profit-sharing agreement,”

Therefore, Shapiro wrote on Twitter that a range of assets found in the decentralized finance (DeFi) market, such as Compound’s cTokens or Liquid Collective’s Liquid Stake tokens, “will be subject to strict regulation under this provision, even if [they are] not subject to existing laws.”

“The SEC can still wage war… all they have to do is argue that the tokens are ‘transferable shares’ or ‘profits’,” he warned.

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