Digital Goods Bill To Regulate Bitcoin And Ethereum

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A new, bipartisan, bill proposal has been submitted to the United States Senate, which is expected to contribute to the effort to regulate cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

According to the Wall Street Journal, Democrat, Debbie Stabenu of Michigan, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, is teaming up with Arkansas Republican, John Bushman, to empower the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to regulate spot cryptocurrency markets through a new asset class called “digital commodities”.

This legislation is part of the overall competition for regulation that exists among many government agencies and departments, including the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Reserve.

Consumer protection

Although the proposed legislation does not include “securities” as part of the new asset class, cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and FTX would fall under the jurisdiction of the CFTC. They will therefore be required to register with the agency and offer protections to consumers.

Boozman said of the new proposed consumer protection law as it relates to digital commodities in 2022:

“This fast-growing industry is currently largely governed by a patchwork of regulations at the state level. This is not an effective way to protect consumers from fraud.

Our bill would empower the CFTC with exclusive jurisdiction over the digital commodities spot market, which would lead to more safeguards for consumers, market integrity, and innovation in the digital commodities space.”

The 3rd proposal for a law on cryptocurrencies

The Stabenow-Boozman bill is the third instance in which Senators have proposed bills affecting cryptocurrencies in the last two months.

Last Wednesday, Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey and Arizona Democrat Kyrsten Sinema proposed a new measure called “The Virtual Currency Tax Fairness Act” that would exempt from taxation small personal cryptocurrency transactions.

The bill would exclude personal cryptocurrency transactions worth less than $50 or with profits under $50 from being subject to capital gains tax. Under the current system, individuals who use digital assets to pay for goods and services owe capital gains taxes when the value of the currency increases.

In early June, another bipartisan proposal from Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sought to create a regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry. Gillibrand said of the Responsible Financial Innovation Act:

“It is critical that the United States play a leading role in developing policy to regulate new financial products while encouraging innovation and protecting consumers.

This is a landmark bill that will create a regulatory framework that encourages innovation, develops clear standards, establishes appropriate jurisdictional boundaries, and protects consumers.

It will provide clarity for both industry and regulators, while maintaining flexibility to take into account the ongoing evolution of the digital asset market.”

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