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Business News/ Markets / Cryptocurrency/  US congressional committee to vote on several cryptocurrency bills

Several bills that would develop a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies will be put to vote at a key congressional committee this week.

Among the legislation the House Financial Services Committee is considering on Wednesday and Thursday are a bill that would define when a cryptocurrency is a security or a commodity and another that would establish a regime to oversee stablecoins - digital tokens typically backed by traditional assets like the U.S. dollar.

It will be the first time crypto regulatory bills will be put to a vote in Congress and it remains to be seen if the bills will garner any Democratic support.

“Obviously we've had some important decisions come from the courts in the past, but this is by far the most significant legislative moment that we've had," said Kristin Smith, CEO of the Blockchain Association.

The measures also would likely face obstacles in the Democratic-led Senate, where the head of the Senate Banking Committee, Sherrod Brown, has said he is unsure if additional legislation to regulate crypto is necessary.

Representative Patrick McHenry, the Republican chair of the committee, has indicated that his priority is advancing a crypto market structure bill, which would expand the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) oversight of the crypto industry, while clarifying the Securities and Exchange Commission's jurisdiction, as many crypto advocates complain of the agency's perceived overreach. His committee is expected to consider that bill during a markup on Wednesday, while the House Agriculture Committee will consider the same bill on Thursday.

“As other jurisdictions like the UK, the (European Union), Singapore and Australia have moved forward with clear regulatory frameworks for digital assets, the United States is at risk of falling behind. We intend to change that today," said McHenry at the outset of Wednesday's markup.

The bill has galvanized many in the crypto industry, who say that with Democrats' support, the bill could have a shot in the Senate.

(With inputs from Reuters)


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Updated: 26 Jul 2023, 08:48 PM IST
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