One of the main things that scares people away from cryptocurrency is the fact that it is still a widely unregulated form of currency. Well at least it was in 2009. In the years since, governments everywhere have made moves toward regulating cryptocurrency, and the US government has recently joined the club with gusto.
So far in 2021, the US government has proposed 18 different bills to regulate the cryptocurrency space. And many of these bills are causing waves in congress as different representatives argue about how to govern a space that has never been governed before.
If you own cryptocurrency, then whatever regulations the US government comes up with will apply to you. Therefore it is critical that you keep reading to find out just what these US government bills mean for the future of the world of cryptocurrency.
What Bills About Cryptocurrency Have Been Passed?
Just because 18 different bills have been proposed on congress this year doesn’t means that 18 different bills have been passed. In actuality, only a few of the cryptocurrency bills proposed have even made it through to the senate. The problem? Well the bills that have gotten through could be detrimental to the space as a whole.
On the second week of August, US congress passed a massive bill that focused heavily on the building of America’s bridges and roads. Thus many were surprised to find that close to the end of the bill, the cryptocurrency industry was included. This bill specified the taxes which would be imposed on companies dealing in cryptocurrency as well as mandatory government disclosures of large transfers over $10,000. Although these impositions themselves aren’t the end of the world, according to cryptocurrency tech firms that have looked over the bill, the part pertaining to cryptocurrency is written poorly in a way that would only hinder the cryptocurrency world rather than help it. This is because of the ambiguous language it uses when describing the taxes which would be imposed on cryptocurrency could lead to the government taking an unfair collection of taxes from cryptocurrency users.
Currently, this bill has been passed to the Senate for approval, but most cryptocurrency enthusiasts hope it is denied, or at least amended, to be more favorable for the cryptocurrency world. If it passed the Senate as is, there will be no chance to amend it later, and this is what those operating in the space fear most.
This bill sits alongside another bill, the Eliminate Barriers To Innovation Act, which was proposed in March and has yet to pass the Senate. This bill would combine the forces of the CFTC and SEC to regulate blockchain technology and cryptocurrency sectors. According to reports, it passed congress with flying colors, so it’s curious that this bill has found itself stuck on the Senate floor. Hopefully there will be an update to if it passed or not here soon.
What Cryptocurrency Bills Are Still Waiting Approval?
The announcement of the most recent bill comes shortly after a bill specifying digital asset structure was brought to congress in July. This bill would put everything having to do with cryptocurrencies under the regulation of the SEC and CFTC just as assets on the regular stock market. This bill is still on the floor of congress and has yet to be passed or rejected. Many speculate that this bill is too close to the Eliminate Barriers To Innovation Act, and will not be passed unless the Senate declines the aforementioned act.
There are additionally several other bills still on the congress floor being revised as you read. More information will be posted on these bills in future articles as the situation develops.
Who is Inventing All These Cryptocurrency Bills?
Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have not hidden their distaste for the US government trying to regulate the cryptocurrency world. And they have a point, the average age of the US congress member is currently 59 years old—and most people this old don’t have any experience in the blockchain space. This means that congress is trying to regulate something it doesn’t fully understand (to be honest, what else is new?)
The congressman that had been the most active in pushing these cryptocurrency bills through the house is Tom Emmer. But he hasn’t proposed any of the above acts, in fact the ones he has proposed are actually somewhat positive for the space. Tom Emmer is a Republican congressman serving the 6th district in Minnesota. He cares greatly for the cryptocurrency world and has actually been fighting to lessen the burden of stringent security on blockchain companies—which he thinks simply aren’t conducive to the regulations which are being put forth in congress currently.
Can Cryptocurrency Even Be Regulated?
That brings up the next point, as much as the government tries to regulate cryptocurrencies, it only shows how ignorant they are when it comes to the world of cryptocurrency. This is because most cryptocurrencies (not stablecoins) are decentralized and this means that there is no way to truly regulate them.
Sure, the US government can regulate companies that deal in cryptocurrencies, or those exchanges that allow people to trade money from their US bank account for the currency, but they can’t actually run Bitcoin as they are thinking they can. They can pay people to track the blockchain all they want, but the truth is, if someone wants to remain anonymous and use cryptocurrency for their money, there is no way for the US government to do anything about it.
This doesn’t mean that all cryptocurrency regulations are bad however. While most in the space are vehemently against any sort of regulation, there is one positive to all of this. If the cryptocurrency space becomes more regulated, this may convince more people to use the technology, thus expanding it and making it more widely accepted worldwide. But then again, if someone needs government regulations to trust cryptocurrency, those are people you probably don’t want using the technology anyway.
In summary, the US government is moving on cryptocurrency regulations, and fast. If you are interested in cryptocurrency, and have any pull in Washington DC, it may be time to call up some friends and see if there is anything they can do to help be sure that the laws that are being passed won’t destroy blockchain technology before it has really had a chance to flourish.