US House Passes National Defense Act Containing Crypto Provision

The bill would clarify regulations of cryptocurrencies.

Sep 24, 2021 at 3:34 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 24, 2021 at 1:52 p.m. UTC

The U.S. House of Representatives has included a crypto provision in this year’s version of the annual defense budget bill.

The National Defense Authorization Act, which lays out the policy guidelines for defense and authorizes military spending, includes a provision from the Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act. The defense bill generally receives wide bipartisan support and is seen as a must-pass bill. Tacking the provision onto the bill, which the House passed on Thursday, signals a chance the crypto provision could soon pass into law.

The Senate still has to vote on its own version of the bill before the two legislative groups reconcile their versions of the bill. All of Congress will have to vote on the final bill. The provision, inserted by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), seeks to promote U.S. international competitiveness by clarifying how cryptocurrencies are regulated.

The proposed legislation would require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to clearly define which agency has oversight of which aspects of the crypto market. If the bill is enacted into law, Congress would create a working group within 90 days of the bill’s passage composed of SEC and CFTC representatives.

The group is expected to also include non-governmental representatives from fintech and small businesses, among others.

Over the course of a year, the group would then be required to analyze the current regulations and their impact on the primary and secondary markets while filing a report describing how current regulations affect the country’s competitiveness.




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Sebastian Sinclair is a CoinDesk news reporter based in Australia.