House expected to vote on crypto bill offering SEC, CFTC clarity in May

Avatar


Lawmakers with the United States House Financial Services Committee announced they are preparing for a full floor vote of the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act, also known as FIT21.

In a May 10 announcement, House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry said the full chamber could be clear for a vote on the FIT21 bill “later this month” after consideration in the House Committee on Rules. The bill, passed out of committee in July 2023, seeks to clarify the roles the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would have in regulating digital assets.

“After tirelessly working across the aisle and across the nation over the past year to craft a clear, pragmatic regulatory framework for digital assets, I am proud that this landmark legislation is coming to the House Floor,” said Representative French Hill. “As the collapse of FTX demonstrated, we need strong consumer protections and a functional regulatory framework to ensure the rapidly growing digital asset ecosystem is safe for investors and consumers while securing America as a leader for blockchain innovation.”

According to Republican lawmakers, the FIT21 bill would provide the CFTC additional authority over digital commodities and clarify the role the SEC has over crypto. The announcement followed a bipartisan vote in the House in favor of a resolution striking down an SEC accounting rule on crypto that many criticized for imposing restrictions on banks. 

Related: Proposed US Blockchain Integrity Act would ban crypto mixers for 2 years

It’s unclear if the crypto bill will have sufficient support to pass the House. Representative McHenry said the legislation going for a full floor vote was the result of “bipartisan efforts,” but the bill would still need to pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Joe Biden.

“[S]takeholders now have updated bill language to assess the changes that have been made since the bill was marked up by HFSC and [Republicans] and [Democrats] last July and approved with bipartisan support,” said Crypto Council for Innovation CEO Sheila Warren. “While FIT21 is not a perfect bill (no bill is!), this is a critical and historic step toward establishing a federal regulatory framework for digital assets in the U.S.”

It’s an election year in the United States, and many lawmakers continue pushing for regulation and oversight of digital assets as a campaign issue. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase’s Stand With Crypto initiative announced the launch of a political action committee to support pro-crypto candidates in 2024. Representative McHenry said in December that he does not plan to run for reelection.

Magazine: What do crypto market makers actually do? Liquidity, or manipulation