US Congressman Introduces “Discussion Draft” of Cryptocurrency Act of 2020

According to reports, On March 9, Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) introduced the “Crypto-Currency Act of 2020,” a bill that looks to choreograph a wide range of digital assets to answer to the appropriate regulator.

US Congressman Introduces Discussion Draft of Cryptocurrency Act of 2020 333

The proposed regulatory schema

Will Stechschulte, Gosar’s legislative assistant, explained in an interview, “the bill looks to provide not only clarity, but legitimacy to crypto assets in the United States.”

Gosar’s proposal divides digital assets into three categories:

1. crypto-commodity

US Congressman Introduces Discussion Draft of Cryptocurrency Act of 2020

2. crypto-currency

US Congressman Introduces Discussion Draft of Cryptocurrency Act of 2020 2

3. crypto-security.

US Congressman Introduces Discussion Draft of Cryptocurrency Act of 2020 2 3333333

The three categories would be governed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Secretary of the Treasury via the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The language of the bill seemingly cements the status of digital assets like Bitcoin as crypto-commodities rather than crypto-currencies. The classification of “crypto-currency” reads “representations of United States currency or synthetic derivatives” — more reminiscent of stablecoins like USDC and Tether (USDT).

The language behind crypto-securities, remains familiar: “all debt, equity, and derivative instruments that rest on a blockchain or decentralized cryptographic ledger.”

As to non-fungible tokens, the bill makes no mention.

 

Updates to the bill since December

The bill is an updated version of one that first leaked in December. The updated bill features expanded definitions for terms like “Decentralized cryptographic ledger” and “Smart contract” — concepts that U.S. legislators are struggling to cope with.

Possibly more significantly, the updated bill is more explicit about determining “primary” rather than “sole” regulatory responsibility. The exact implications remain to be seen, but the change could weaken the legal standing of crypto businesses arguing that, say, the SEC has no right to regulate them.

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