- Senators Lummis and Gillibrand said they plan to unveil their bipartisan crypto bill in June
- It will be the first comprehensive cryptocurrency bill to be introduced, Gillibrand said
Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) took the stage Tuesday at the DC Blockchain Summit to discuss details of their highly anticipated bipartisan cryptocurrency bill, which they said will be introduced as soon as next week.
The Responsible Financial Innovation Act, which has been in the works for over a year, is going to be the first comprehensive digital assets framework to make it to Capitol Hill, Gillibrand said.
“Our bill does include some of the [same] provisions as some of the other House and Senate bills, but no other bill endeavors to create a regulatory framework for the whole industry,” Gillibrand said. “Most other bills are small, discreet and one-idea bills.”
Highlights of the bill include provisions that protect miners from being treated as brokers, which tackles a controversial section of the recently-passed Infrastructure Bill. It also grants the Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulatory authority over much of the space and clarifies that cryptocurrencies are not securities unless they are being offered to fund a company, such as an initial coin offering.
“It’s pretty clear that bitcoin is a commodity,” Lummis said. “It is our intent that the CFTC takes the reins of jurisdiction over bitcoin and [ether], together they make up over 60% of the cryptocurrency markets in existence, and they’re the ones that are most likely to survive.”
The bill references the same “responsible innovation” highlighted in President Biden’s executive order. It’s a cause the two senators are hoping their colleagues can get behind.
“Cynthia [Lummis] and I together can work with our colleagues to find the common ground to move it forward,” Gillibrand said. “I’m very optimistic, and the reason I am is because this bill has been heavily researched.”
The two senators have consulted with stakeholders and industry leaders for months to compose this bill, Lummis added. There have been successful bipartisan efforts in the past, Gillibrand said, and this should be no different. Still, getting the bill to the floor is going to be an uphill battle, the two admitted.
This bill will have at least four committees of jurisdiction, Gillibrand said. To make it to a vote on the floor, it will likely need at least four hearings, which can be a lengthy process. Efforts are already underway, Gillibrand said.
“On my committee of jurisdiction on the Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) was very interested in this space,” Gillibrand said. “I’m going to give her our draft legislation and I’m hoping that she likes it enough to mark up this draft.”
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