U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) is planning to introduce three bills in support of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies on the floor of the house. Announced in a press release from his office on September 21, the three bills are titled, “Resolution Supporting Digital Currencies and Blockchain Technology,” “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act,” and the “Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act.”
According to the statement, the three bills are intended to help build a supporting framework for the continued development of blockchain technology and create a simplified tax framework for holders of ‘forked’ digital assets.
Purpose of the Bills
The bills propose to create a “simple legal environment” for holders of crypto assets and restrict fines levied against individuals who report their ownership of crypto assets until such a time as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is able to present definite guidance on how to report them.
In addition, the bills seek to create “light touch” regulatory framework and prevent blockchain-based companies not involved in handling user crypto assets from needing to register as money transmitters. This would have significant impact on crypto miners for example, by reducing the amount of regulation required for them to operate legally.
Commenting on the upcoming bills Emmer said:
The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills. Legislators should be embracing emerging technologies and providing a clear regulatory system that allows them to flourish in the United States.
In addition to championing these bills, Emmer has also been named as co-chairman of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, which is a forum for lawmakers to interact with blockchain industry stakeholders and collaborate with them on exploring the possibilities and implications of cryptocurrency adoption. The caucus in its own words “believes in a hands-off regulatory approach to allow this technology to evolve the same way the Internet did; on its own.”
Pressure for Clear Regulation
US lawmakers recently tasked the IRS with developing a clear, comprehensive and constructive tax framework for crypto asset holders in order to prevent vague tax laws from becoming a hindrance to the growth of the space. According to the lawmakers, while the IRS consistently notifies taxpayers about the penalties attached to non-compliance, it is yet to provide a clear and workable framework for digital assets, which serves as a significant hindrance for taxpayers who want to meet their obligations.
CryptoGlobe reported earlier this month that U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo stated that the winning government policy for crypto should be to “do no harm” and avoid being heavy-handed. In his opinion, this is the regulation model that led to the success of the Internet, and it should be replicated with crypto.