According to a Bloomberg report the legislation is being piloted by Wyoming Senator, Cynthia Lummis. Lummis has been a vocal advocate of bitcoin since her initial investment in 2013. In a June 2021 interview she stated that she held 5 bitcoin and disclosures show that she made a further purchase of between $50,000-$100,000 in August of 2021. She is also one of the first politicians to accept bitcoin donations via her website.
Some aspects of the proposed bill will include taxation, classification, and consumer protection. Additionally, an aide for the Senator spoke to Bloomberg to highlight the fact that it would regulate stablecoins, as well as create a new regulatory organization dedicated to overseeing digital assets.
This organization would be working under the combined efforts of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission. This organization would then oversee the digital cryptocurrency market and provide some guidelines and clarity as to how it should be run.
In order for the bill to be considered, Senator Lummis would require the support of 60 other Senators to bring it to a vote. While the Senate is currently divided along party lines, there has been a considerable amount of bipartisan support for legislation concerning digital assets.
A mix of Democratic and Republican Representatives who have reported making cryptocurrency investments themselves include Illinois Representative Marie Newman, Texas Representative Michael McCaul, Pennsylvania Representative Pat Toomey, Alabama Representative Barry Moore, New Jersey Representative Jefferson Van Drew, and Florida Representative Michael Waltz.
While this accounts for only a small portion of the Senate, it is a sign that adoption of digital assets by politicians is well under way. Additional regulation may represent a turning point for the industry as it could add legitimacy to a market that many investors classify as the wild west.
This isn’t the first time Lummis has been involved in legislation regarding digital assets. Earlier this year, she was one of three Senators who attempted to add an amendment to a portion of the so-called infrastructure bill addressing digital assets. The amendment’s aim was to create a clear definition of who qualified as a broker. It was designed to help define the term, and protect non-brokers, such as miners and node operators, from regulation. However, Lummis was unsuccessful in her attempt, and the amendment was dismissed.
Cryptocurrency regulation in 2022
Senator Lummis’ bill is the first attempt to provide any kind of regulation and clarity to the digital asset market. Regulatory capture of the industry has been an increasingly hot topic as adoption continues to rise and Washington has struggled to clearly define digital assets and provide investors and companies with proper guidelines.
Lummis, who is active on social media, sent out a Tweet to promote and rally support for the bill.