US Reps. Emmer, Soto Reintroduce Legislation to Clarify 'Money Transmitter' Designation

The congressmen called proposed guidance from the Financial Action Taskforce "concerning."

Aug 17, 2021 at 2:29 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:41 p.m. UTC

U.S. Representatives Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Darren Soto (D-Fla.) have reintroduced legislation designed to mitigate proposed Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidance that they believe would stifle blockchain innovation.

  • The Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act has been reintroduced to "remedy concerning" proposed guidance, according to an announcement Tuesday.
  • The concerns center on blockchain developers and service providers such as miners having to register as money transmitters, which Emmer believes should not be the case as they "never custody consumer funds."
  • "Blockchain service providers need clear rules of the road to be able to develop and invest in the United States, and this clarity is more necessary than ever as the FATF tries to encapsulate more non-custodial blockchain developers in the money transmission system," Emmer said.
  • Rep. Soto described the legislation as "extremely timely," given the recent infrastructure bill discussion in Congress. One provision of the infrastructure bill expands the definition of a “broker,” leading to concerns the Internal Revenue Service might seek to impose broker information reporting requirements on non-broker entities such as miners. 
  • The reintroduction of the bill is being supported by the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Coin Center and the Blockchain Association.
  • In July, Emmer re-introduced a separate bill, the Securities Clarity Act, that would treat digital assets as commodities, not securities, meaning startups would be free to sell and trade cryptocurrencies without having to worry about registering them as securities with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

UPDATE (August 17, 16:46 UTC): Updated with information in the fifth bullet point.

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