According to data published on the official website of the United States Congress on January 14, a new bill has been re-submitted, which proposes that companies which provide non-custodial crypto-based services should be exempted from laws governing state money transmissions.
Titled “To provide a safe harbor from licensing and registration for certain non-controlling blockchain developers and providers of blockchain services,” the bill was reportedly submitted by United States congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN), while congressman Darren Soto (D-FL) served as a co-sponsor.
Emmer was reported to have planned the introduction of three more bills supporting the adoption of cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology in 2018. In addition to this recent one, the other two are titled the “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” and the “Resolution Supporting Digital Currencies and Blockchain Technology.”
The FIND Trafficking Act
Back in June, the Financial Services Committee of the United States House of Representatives had proposed a bill that would launch an investigation into the use of cryptocurrencies in the sex trafficking industry.
The “Fight Illicit Networks and Detect Trafficking Act” (also called the FIND Trafficking Act) was prepared by Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA), calling for an improvement in the efforts taken by various Federal agencies to “impede the use of virtual currencies and online marketplaces to facilitate the trafficking of drugs and sex workers.
Upon passing, the bill will require the United States Comptroller General to study how “virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to buy, sell, or facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with sex trafficking.”
Also, the study will cover the application of cryptocurrencies in the trading of illicit drugs and substances as well. No later than a year of passing the law, the Comptroller General, who serves as the director of the Government Accountability Office, will have to prepare a report of his findings and legislative recommendations to the House Committee on Housing, Banking and Urban Affairs, as well as the Committee on Financial Services.
The Blockchain Promotional Act
Also, in October, the “Blockchain Promotional Act” was proposed to the House of Representatives. The bill, which was proposed by Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), noted that blockchain technology had been defined separately in various draft bills.
To wit, the bill proposed that the United States Commerce Department should go on develop a working group, which will consist of various federal officials and notable members of the blockchain industry, with the aim of generating a common definition of blockchain technology.
According to the bill, the working group will also help to provide recommendations for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on the impacts of blockchain on various policies. Also, these agencies will go on to consider the possibility and feasibility of government blockchain adoption.
The Token Taxonomy Act
The “Token Taxonomy Act” was also proposed to Congress by Rep. Darren Soto, the co-sponsor of Rep. Emmer’s exemption bill, and Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), to provide clarity regarding the exact fit of crypto tokens in the regulatory framework of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The bill defined digital tokens, essentially bringing an amendment to both the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Securities Act of 1933. It also states that upon becoming a fully functioning network, a cryptocurrency becomes free of any securities laws.
The Token Taxonomy Act is expected to end the financial regulators’ classification of cryptocurrencies as securities.
Also, by creating a new asset class for digital assets and cryptocurrencies, it is expected that this bill will pave the way for more favorable regulations concerning cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
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