Congress is back, and Gensler is making the rounds

In the House, five crypto-related bills managed to be ordered for a full floor vote, the Senate meanwhile has not had a single crypto bill voted through committee

article-image

Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

share

As members of Congress make their way back to Washington this month, crypto companies and investors have an eye on pending legislation. 

Senators reconvened at Capitol Hill on Tuesday, with representatives slated to end their recess on Sept. 12. As both houses strive to finalize the budget and avoid a government shutdown, insiders hint at potential developments in crypto policy this fall.

In the House, five crypto-related bills managed to make it through committee markup and have been ordered to a full floor vote. 

The Financial Innovation and Technology (FIT) for the 21st Century Act, co-sponsored by French Hill, R-Ark., Glenn Thompson , R-Penn., and  Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. and the Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act, introduced by Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., have fairly promising bipartisan support.  

Reps. Hill, Thompson and Johnson penned the FIT Act with hopes to establish joint rulemaking powers between the SEC and CFTC. Notably, the bill grants the latter control over digital commodities markets, including exchanges and broker-dealers. 

The legislation also clarifies how digital assets are classified, stating that the existence of an investment contract alone does not make a token a security. About 70% of all crypto tokens should be classified as commodities rather than securities, the co-sponsors wrote in a fact sheet published alongside the bill. 

With co-sponsors across committees, the FIT Act has made it through the House Financial Services and the House Agriculture Committees with bipartisan support. Other House bills, including the Keep Your Coins Act and the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act have also passed through to a full House vote, although with less support from Democrats. 

The Senate has seen less progress, with 18 crypto-related bills introduced this session and none having made it through a committee markup. 

However, a number of bipartisan efforts are making their way through the Senate, including some bills that have been reintroduced this session after failing to move forward last session. 

Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., brought their revamped Responsible Financial Innovation Act bill in July. The new version would establish a law enforcement working group to help monitor the industry. It also updates the tax code and attempts to tackle stablecoin regulation with new reporting and registration requirements. 

Also in July, Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., introduced the Crypto Asset National Security Enhancement Act of 2023 alongside Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., Mike Rounds, R-S.D., and Mitt Romney, R-Utah. 

Reed’s bill would require anyone who “controls” a DeFi protocol to ensure there are anti-money laundering programs in effect and adhere to know-your-customer (KYC) policies. DeFi protocol controllers would also be responsible for reporting suspicious activity and make sure anyone blocked by sanctions is not using the protocol. 

As we wait for the House to schedule full floor votes and continue to watch for signs that Senate committees might move into the markup phase, investors and industry members should gear up for a busy month. SEC chair Gary Gensler is scheduled to head to both houses of Congress; first to the Senate Banking Committee on Sept. 12 and later the House Financial Services Committee on Sept. 27.


Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.

Tags

Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png

Research

Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.

/

article-image

Continued demand for bitcoin ETFs coupled with greater demand for bitcoin from exchanges is contributing to price moves, analysts say

article-image

Morpho Blue is designed in a way where risk management is externalized, Morpho Labs’ CEO said

article-image

Snowflake, a cloud-based data warehouse solution, has partnered with Dune to make curated blockchain data available to its clients

article-image

Crypto is fast and it’s only getting faster as bitcoin threatens to retest its own highs set more than two years ago

article-image

The settlement ends the legal battle over eth.link, a domain once owned by imprisoned developer Virgil Griffith

article-image

TBC President Lee Bratcher told Blockworks he’s “confident” about the Council’s case against the DOE