Minnesota’s Congressman proposes “safe harbor” for blockchain-centered businesses

January 19, 2019
Chris Wheal

Minnesota’s Congressman, Tom Emmer, announced several bills which would affect Minnesota’s infrastructure, taxes and advancement in blockchain technology.

The Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act proposes some regulations and guidelines on blockchain companies. For example, companies that do not partake in controlling their user’s crypto, aren’t required to register as a “money transmitter;” which covers miners, among others. In other words, it means the blockchain-centered businesses will get into a “safe harbor” from the strict U.S. financial regulations.

Additionally, the bill also formally seeks to define “blockchain networks,” “blockchain developers,” and “blockchain services” under the U.S. law, to ensure blockchain companies don’t operate in a “grey” area.

Emmer said that the U.S. government should begin to make more advancements in blockchain to create a nation which encourages the American private sector to further advance cryptocurrency and technology that’s behind them.

Floridian Congressman Darren Soto showed his support to this piece of legislation by joining Emmer as his bipartisan co-lead. The bill H.R. 528 is now sent to the House Banking Committee and the House Judiciary Committee for their possible adjustments. With enough traction, the next stop for the bill is to be voted by the full House.

This is the second major bill introduced by U.S. congressmen within just one past month. In December 2018, U.S. Reps. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio and Darren Soto, D-Fla., introduced the “Token Taxonomy Act” and proposed to exclude cryptocurrencies from the definition of “securities” under the U.S. laws, which, as some experts suggest, would provide less regulatory oversight and more opportunity for innovation in the industry.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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