House passes digital asset innovation act to clarify crypto regulations

House passes digital asset innovation act to clarify crypto regulations

The United States House of Representatives on Tuesday passed H.R. 1602 — the Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act — introduced by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC).

H.R. 1602 was among six bipartisan financial services-related bills passed by the House on Tuesday, with the McHenry-sponsored legislation focusing on regulatory clarity for cryptocurrencies.

Introduced back in March, the bill seeks to clarify the roles of agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in the policing of cryptocurrencies in the United States.

The bill also seeks to answer the ongoing debate of whether crypto tokens are securities or commodities.

Addressing the floor of the House during the passage of the bill, McHenry remarked:

“[This bill] requires the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to establish a working group focused on digital assets. This is the first step in opening up the dialogue between our regulators and market participants and move to needed clarity.”

Under the terms of the bill, Congress would have 90 days to establish the working group among participants from the SEC, CFTC and the private sector.

The private-sector participants would draw from fintech and financial services companies as well as small- and medium-scale enterprises and academia.

Once constituted, the working group would have a year to issue a report analyzing the current crypto regulatory climate. The panel’s work would also focus on matters like crypto custody, cybersecurity, private key management and investor protection concerns.

The patchwork nature of crypto regulations in the U.S. continues to be a source of some frustration among industry stakeholders in the country. Some industry insiders have argued that the U.S. is at risk of losing ground in the emerging digital economy due to the lack of regulatory clarity for digital assets.

Earlier in April, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon predicted a big evolution for crypto regulations in the United States.

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