Lawmakers are making a fresh attempt to give cryptocurrencies a clearer legal standing in the U.S.
U.S. Representative Warren Davidson reintroduced the Token Taxonomy Act on Tuesday, saying in a statement that the bill, if approved by Congress and signed into law, would “send a powerful message” to innovators that “the U.S. is the best destination for blockchain technology.”
The bill, first introduced last year by Reps. Davidson and Darren Soto, seeks to exempt certain cryptocurrencies and other digital assets from federal securities laws, allowing individuals to more easily trade or transact with select coins.
The act would amend the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1940, granting regulators such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) clarity on how they may enforce securities laws surrounding cryptocurrencies.
While the SEC has released staff-level guidance explaining how it might verify whether token sales are securities offerings, it remains unclear how cryptocurrencies that are not being used for fundraising might be classified.
In addition to Davidson and Soto, Reps. Josh Gottheimer, Tedd Budd, Scott Perry and Tulsi Gabbard – who is currently running for president – are cosponsoring the 2019 version of the bill.
Five of the cosponsors, excluding Perry, are members of the House Financial Services Committee.
The TTA is largely similar to the bill introduced in 2018, but the new version will feature some changes, including a clearer definition of digital tokens that will be more inclusive of changing technology, according to the bill.
There are also provisions which strengthen consumer protection and preempt any state laws which would otherwise overlap with the act.
Last year’s Congressional session ended before the House Financial Services Committee or House Ways and Means Committee could vote on whether the full House should consider the proposal.
In a statement, Kristin Smith, acting head of Blockchain Association, told CoinDesk that the lobbying group is “pleased to support the re-introduction of the Token Taxonomy Act.”
“In light of the recent SEC staff guidance, the open blockchain industry needs regulatory clarity more than ever,” she said. “We believe that blockchain technology has tremendous potential and that we need smart, simple, and supportive legislation to make sure that the United States continues to be a leader in this ecosystem. We are grateful for the bill’s sponsors for their continued support for this vital technology.”
Read the full bill here:
Warren Davidson image courtesy Warren Davidson’s Office
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