On Thursday (6 December 2018), two U.S. Congressmen, Darren Soto (D-FL-09) and Ted Budd (R-NC-13), jointly announced that they had introduced two pieces of bipartisan legislation in order to "help prevent virtual currency price manipulation" and to help the U.S. crypto industry to stay competitive on the global stage.
The two bills, which were both introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Darren Soto, are named the "Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018" and the "U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018".
The 'Virtual Currency Consumer Protection Act of 2018'
The purpose of this bill is to "promote fair and transparent virtual currency markets by examining the potential for price manipulation."
This is section 2 of the bill:
"It is the sense of Congress that virtual currency could have a significant effect on the economy, and regulation of them may be important to protect investors, deter bad actors, create market certainty, and ensure American competitiveness in an evolving global marketplace."
Section 3 of the bill states that within one year of the enactment of this Act, the Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) must submit a report that examines the potential for price manipulation of cryptocurrencies and analyze what federal agencies such as the CFTC could do to conduct "market surveillance of virtual currencies for signs of manipulation" and to bring enforcement actions "against persons involved in such manipulation."
The 'U.S. Virtual Currency Market and Regulatory Competitiveness Act of 2018'
The purpose of this bill is to "promote United States competitiveness in the evolving global virtual currency marketplace."
Section 2 is the same as for the other bill.
Section 3 states that within one year of the enactment of this Act, the Chairman of the CFTC must submit a report on "the state of virtual markets and ways to promote American competitiveness." This report should:
- study how regulation of the U.S. crypto industry compares to the regulation of the same in other countries, and "then make recommendations for regulatory changes to promote competitiveness in the U.S. in the industry by providing regulatory clarity and examining alternatives for current burdensome regulations that may inhibit innovation"; e.g., it "asks the CFTC to clarify the virtual currencies that qualify as commodities and examine the costs and benefits of a new, optional regulatory structure that could replace the current state money transmission system";
- examine "the potential benefits of virtual currency and blockchain technology in the United States commodities market."
Representatives Soto and Budd released this joint statement:
“Virtual currencies and the underlying blockchain technology has a profound potential to be a driver of economic growth. That’s why we must ensure that the United States is at the forefront of protecting consumers and the financial well-being of virtual currency investors, while also promoting an environment of innovation to maximize the potential of these technological advances. This bill will provide data on how Congress can best mitigate these risks while propelling development that benefits our economy."
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