United States House Committee Passes Pro-Crypto Bill
by Oskar Trotman
Industry experts have been vocal for years that the United States blockchain regulatory landscape is inappropriate for the booming industry. The absence of specific laws has been hampering the future development of crypto, in effect endangering the U.S. leadership position in this industry.
Those shortcomings are starting to be ratified by lawmakers. The latest milestone in the effort to legitimize crypto arrived after the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously passed H.R. 6572, a pro-crypto bill aiming to promote the use and deployment of blockchain technology in the United States.
An Array of Actions for Blockchain Development
The new blockchain bill delegates responsibilities to the U.S. commerce secretary to promote and enhance the use of blockchain technology in the country. The bill is not a short piece of legislation, spanning 13 pages, which the Secretary of Commerce can use as a guide and plan out an array of actions necessary for maintaining the competitiveness of the United States related to the deployment and application of blockchain technology.
However, the H.R. 6572, the Deploying American Blockchains Act of 2023, is not officially on the books until it receives legislators’ support in the House, where it’s now heading for a vote. If the unanimous 46-0 vote in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is any indication, this bill will not face serious opposition in the House and Senate before receiving final presidential approval.
There is no definitive timeline for voting on this bill on Capitol Hill, but if passed, the commerce secretary will be tasked to implement policies and recommendations for the private sector and establish government advisory committees for crypto adoption.
Blockchain advocacy groups have already voiced their approval of the new bill, with representatives of the Chamber of Digital Commerce announcing on social media channels that the bill will ensure the U.S. maintains a leadership role in the crypto industry, something that was previously lacking in this nascent space.
Not Everybody Is Happy With Crypto
U.S. lawmakers are not ignorant of the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Since 2022, nearly 50 different crypto bills have been floated on Capitol Hill, and several congressmen have been active supporters. Other government initiatives are working on fostering better coordination among federal agencies, setting the foundation for future adaptations of blockchain tech.
However, the banking industry is in favor of retaining the status quo. During a session of the Senate Banking Committee held on December 6, eight CEOs of U.S. banks testified on various issues, with crypto creeping into the discussion. The CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, voiced his disapproval of blockchain, suggesting that if he were the government, he would ban cryptocurrencies.
It’s crucial to emphasize that H.R. 6572 will not create a seismic effect in the blockchain industry. Although it will move things in the right direction, lobbyists have higher expectations for the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, which would clarify regulator jurisdictions.