Crypto firms rally behind FIT21 bill approaching US House floor vote

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Several cryptocurrency companies and advocacy groups urged United States lawmakers to support legislation clarifying the roles of the country’s financial regulators over digital assets.

In a May 16 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives leadership, roughly 60 firms represented by the Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI) called on lawmakers to pass H.R.4763, or the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century (FIT21) Act. The bill, passed out of the House Financial Services Committee in July 2023, would clarify how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulate digital assets.

“We recognize that FIT 21 will introduce new compliance challenges for digital assets companies, but regulatory clarity is indisputably more responsible, safer for consumers, and preferable to the status quo,” said the CCI. “Currently, digital assets firms are instructed to somehow comply with U.S. securities laws that were designed nearly 100 years ago without consideration of the technological advances of today, including the ability for transactions to move at the speed of the internet.”

Source: CCI

Coinbase, Circle, Block, Kraken, Gemini and Stand With Crypto were among the letter’s signees. The advocacy group urged U.S. voters to contact their representatives and support the bill.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Patrick McHenry said the FIT21 bill could be ready for a full floor vote “later this month” after consideration in the rules committee. This would give lawmakers roughly five days in session before June. Many lawmakers, including Representative French Hill, have already suggested they intend to vote in favor of the legislation.

In the last ten days, the House and Senate passed a resolution to overturn an SEC rule on how banks are expected to handle digital assets. Though the legislation received bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, U.S. President Joe Biden said he planned to veto it.

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According to digital asset advocate and Senator Cynthia Lummis, the resolution overturning the SEC rule was the first time this session of Congress passed “standalone crypto legislation.” It’s unclear whether lawmakers will follow suit in passing FIT21. The White House has not suggested whether President Biden will immediately sign the bill into law if passed by the House and Senate.

The potential passage of the two crypto bills comes as the United States moves deeper into an election year. President Biden and former President Donald Trump, the presumptive candidates for the Democratic and Republican Parties in 2024, have agreed to two debates on June 27 and Sept. 10 in which crypto could be a topic of discussion.

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