- US House Republicans introduce the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act to create a regulatory framework for digital assets, addressing specific risks associated with various activities.
- The bill grants CFTC jurisdiction over digital commodities clarifies SEC’s role and emphasizes decentralization as a key criterion for digital asset classification.
On July 20, Republican members of the United States House Agriculture and Financial Services Committees introduced a groundbreaking 212-page bill called the “Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act.” This joint effort between the two committees aims to create a robust regulatory framework for digital assets. The proposed legislation is a response to the increasing prominence of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in the financial landscape. Designed to address existing regulatory gaps, the bill seeks to establish a comprehensive set of guidelines for the specific risks associated with various digital asset-related activities.
Key Provisions of the Bill
The proposed bill encompasses several key provisions that will significantly impact the digital asset industry and its regulatory environment. First and foremost, it grants the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) jurisdiction over digital commodities, effectively bringing them under the purview of the established regulatory authority. By clarifying the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the bill creates a more defined regulatory space for digital assets, particularly those initially classified as securities, to be traded and sold as commodities.
A crucial condition for a digital asset to be recognized as a commodity under this framework is decentralization. Emphasizing the importance of decentralization in the classification process, the bill seeks to ensure that digital asset commodities comply with specific standards. As a result, these compliant digital asset commodities may be offered for sale on SEC-registered digital asset trading systems. In addition, the bill introduces new and more comprehensive disclosure requirements for market participants, ensuring greater transparency within the digital asset industry.
Collaboration and Accountability in the Regulatory Landscape
The Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act sets a precedent for cooperation and collaboration in the global regulatory landscape. Notably, the bill requires both the CFTC and the SEC to collaborate with foreign regulators in establishing consistent international regulatory standards for digital assets. This move aims to foster a more unified approach to digital asset regulation and create a harmonious global market.
Furthermore, the bill highlights a growing interest in nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and their place in traditional marketplaces. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will conduct a comprehensive study on NFTs to understand their implications on the broader financial ecosystem. The study will be instrumental in shaping future regulatory decisions regarding this unique asset class.
Cosponsored by Representatives French Hill, Dusty Johnson, Glenn Thompson, Tom Emmer, and Warren Davidson, the bill exemplifies a bipartisan commitment to fostering innovation while ensuring a secure and well-regulated digital asset landscape. In a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler prior to the bill’s introduction, Representatives Hill and Johnson criticized the agency’s “regulation by enforcement” approach, emphasizing the need for clear and comprehensive guidelines.
The introduction of the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act represents a significant step towards creating a structured regulatory framework for digital assets in the United States. By collaborating across committees and taking a comprehensive approach, House Republicans aim to strike a balance between innovation and regulation, fostering a secure environment for digital asset market participants. As the bill competes with other proposed legislation, such as the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, the focus remains on paving the way for a thriving digital asset industry while prioritizing investor protection and market integrity.
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//Retrieved from: https://www.cryptopolitan.com/us-house-republicans-digital-assets-bill/ (7/9/23)