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Senator Who Wrote Controversial Crypto Tax Rule Proposes Modest Revision

The amendment excludes only proof-of-work mining, or the selling of hardware or software that gives individuals control of private keys to access digital assets.

Aug 6, 2021 at 12:47 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:36 p.m. UTC

Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) submitted a competing amendment on Thursday to an earlier amendment to the Senate infrastructure bill's cryptocurrency provision.

  • The amendment, a copy of which was obtained by CoinDesk, is limited in scope, excluding only proof-of-work mining, or the selling of hardware or software that permits individuals to control private keys that provide access to digital assets.
  • In a tweet Thursday evening, Jerry Brito, the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Coin Center, called the amendment "disastrous." He added: "And it does nothing for software devs. Ridiculous!"
  • The crypto-specific provision would raise $28 billion toward $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements but has been contentious, briefly holding up the entire infrastructure bill.
  • Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) proposed their amendment earlier Thursday to ensure miners, node operators, developers and other non-custodial crypto industry participants are exempt from the crypto tax reporting provision.
  • The Biden administration formally supported what it called the "compromise" in a statement shared on Twitter late Thursday and attributed to White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates.
  • Wyden tweeted that the competing amendment "provides a government-sanctioned safe harbor for the most climate-damaging form of crypto tech, called proof-of-work. It would be a mistake for the climate and for innovation to advance this amendment."
  • Similarly, Lummis tweeted, "Our amendment protects miners as well as hardware and software developers. The other does not. The choice is clear."

UPDATE (Aug. 6, 2021, 02:48 UTC): Adds White House formally supporting the Warner-Portman-Sinema amendment and Wyden's response.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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