House passes crypto market structure bill with bipartisan support 

The FIT21 Act marks the second crypto-focused piece of legislation to advance in Congress this month

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Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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The US House of Representatives passed the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, known as the FIT21 Act, Wednesday evening, marking the second crypto-focused piece of legislation to advance in Congress this month. 

The bill passed in a vote of 279-136. Seventy-one Democrats voted in favor of the bill. 

Representatives considered three amendments to the bill, proposed by Reps. Greg Casar, D-Tex., Brittany Pettersen, D-Col., and Ralph Norman, R-S.C., respectively. 

Casar’s amendment, which sought to decrease the crowd fundraising limit placed on crypto entities from $75 million to $5 million, did not pass.

The amendments proposed by Reps. Pettersen and Norman did advance. 

Norman’s amendment requires the Treasury Department, the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission to complete a joint study and submit a report to Congress that identifies any digital asset businesses that are owned by “governments of foreign adversaries,” Norman said. 

China’s involvement in Prometheum, which became the first crypto firm to receive a special purpose broker-dealer license from the SEC in 2023, inspired the amendment, Norman said. 

Pettersen’s amendment expands the Bank Secrecy Act to include digital asset entities under the definition of a “financial institution” and orders a study to assess risks posed by centralized intermediaries in areas where anti-money laundering enforcement is not as “robust.” 

“This amendment, combined with the underlying bill, will help provide more oversight into the digital asset market and support regulators’ work to protect consumers and investors,” Pettersen said Wednesday during the debate. “While there is more work to be done to ensure the integrity of our digital assets market, this amendment is an important step forward.” 

FIT21 now heads to the Senate. The White House said Wednesday that it opposes the legislation, claiming the bill “lacks sufficient protections for consumers and investors who engage in certain digital asset transactions.” The May 22 notice did not expressly state that President Joe Biden would veto the measure should it reach his desk. 

The comment comes shortly after Biden’s team last week said the White House would block Joint Resolution 109, which seeks to overturn the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) 121.

The resolution advanced to the president’s desk last week after earning bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.


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