New chair of US Blockchain Caucus supports ‘light touch’ crypto regulation

September 24, 2018
Chris Wheal

Tom Emmer, the Minnesota Congressman who was appointed on Friday as co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, has announced the drafting of three bills to support blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

On a posting on his media page, Emmer said the legislation supports the industry, and the development of these promising technologies in the US, promising clarity on control of digital assets.

He said: “The United States should prioritise accelerating the development of blockchain technology and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills.”

The bills in detail

“Legislators should be embracing emerging technologies and providing a clear regulatory system that allows them to flourish in the US,” Emmer added, proposing the three bills as follows:

  • Resolution supporting digital currencies and blockchain technology: the federal government should provide a light touch and consistent and simple legal environment to support industry development in the US
  • Blockchain regulatory certainty act: affirms that certain blockchain-related entities that never take control of consumer funds do not need to register as a money transmitter – miners and validators etc.
  • Safe harbour for taxpayers with forked assets act: restrict fines against individuals that attempt to report these assets until the IRS provides any type of guidance regarding the appropriate means of reporting them

Regulatory transparency

US cryptocurrency investors have long sought clarity on the regulatory framework for digital assets, with both the main financial regulators – the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission – failing to do so.

Through these new laws, it is hoped the Blockchain Caucus – formed in 2016 – will provide this regulatory transparency, and a “light touch” that will encourage greater liquidity in the cryptocurrency market as institutional investors are attracted to the market.

The bi-partisan Caucus says it “believes in a hands-off regulatory approach to allow this technology to evolve the same way the internet did – on its own”.

Tom Emmer co-chairs the Caucus along with Illinois Congressman Bill Foster.

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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