The U.S. House of Representatives passed two crypto bills on Tuesday evening.
The Consumer Safety Technology Act, sponsored by Rep. Jerry McNerny (D-Calif.), directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish a pilot program to explore use cases for artificial intelligence in commerce. The two blockchain bills – the Blockchain Innovation Act and parts of the Digital Taxonomy Act – direct the Secretary of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to study and report on the use of blockchain technology and digital tokens.
The Consumer Safety Technology Act was approved in a previous session of Congress, passing the House in September 2020, but was never approved by the Senate and died at the close of the session.
By reintroducing the bill and passing it onto the Senate again, McNerny and his co-sponsors, including longtime blockchain advocate Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.), are giving the bill a second chance.
The blockchain bills are one of many in a series of attempts to provide regulatory clarity on digital asset ownership and management. Many in the crypto market are increasingly demanding regulation, claiming that the lack of a legal framework stifles innovation.
Previous attempts to provide regulatory clarity, including Rep. Warren Davidson’s (R-Ohio) Token Taxonomy Act, which was first introduced in 2018, have failed to gain any meaningful traction.
Supporters of blockchain regulation fear that a lack of governmental guidance puts the United States at risk of falling behind other nations, including China.
“Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are playing a growing importance in our daily lives and are going to be an economic driver for the 21st-century economy,” Soto said in a speech on Tuesday, adding:
“It’s essential that the United States continue to be a global leader in these emerging technologies to ensure that our democratic values remain at the forefront of this technological development.”
Soto said the Consumer Safety Technology Act is the first step toward the Congressional Blockchain Caucus’ long-term goal of creating a Blockchain Center of Excellence in the Department of Commerce.