The US House Financial Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee are set to introduce comprehensive legislation to oversee the cryptocurrency sector in the next two months.
Before unveiling the new bill, the two committees will hold a joint public hearing, which is scheduled to start in May, Representative Patrick McHenry, chair of the House Financial Services Committee, said during Consensus 2023 conference.
The lawmaker also claimed that the bill could be signed by President Joe Biden in the next 12 months.
“What we plan to do over the next two months is report a deal out,” McHenry said.
He noted that while it’s a challenge to legislate something new into existence, the committee plans to announce a bill addressing securities and commodities regimes as well as hard-to-fix issues.
The bipartisan subject aims to be addressed before the 2024 election, said Senator Cynthia Lummis, the other panelist during the session.
Lummis also shared that if the House moves first on crypto, it would improve the Senate’s chances of getting the legislation through earlier.
Despite several bills making progress on Capitol Hill last year, the US Congress has been unable to pass comprehensive legislation on crypto.
This month, the House Financial Services Committee put forward another bill aimed at regulating stablecoins, which is yet to find any notable bipartisanship support.
Meanwhile, jurisdictions such as the European Union have already approved the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law, making it the first major jurisdiction in the world to introduce a comprehensive crypto law.
Regulators in Japan and the United Arab Emirates have followed and moved toward regulating the space, with Hong Kong and the UK revisiting their approach to crypto.
US Ramps Up Efforts to Regulate Crypto After Collapse of FTX
The recent collapse of FTX and some other high-profile digital asset firms has put pressure on lawmakers to introduce legislation that provides adequate guidance and protections for the industry.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are two of the biggest financial regulators in the US, have launched an aggressive crackdown on the crypto industry.
The CFTC has recently announced that it is suing Binance and founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao on allegations that the crypto exchange knowingly offered unregistered crypto derivative products in the US in the transgression of the law.
Likewise, the SEC has sent a “Wells notice” to Coinbase, threatening the crypto exchange with legal actions regarding some of its listed digital assets, its staking service Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime, and Coinbase Wallet.
McHenry also acknowledged crypto’s recent role in the US banking crisis, which has left the industry’s banking relationships strained.
“We have to fix this problem, we have to provide certainty that you can bank in a safe and sound manner,” he said. “This is a great example of why Congress must legislate and provide clarity.”
The Senator has also been pushing for clearer regulatory rules.
Last week, McHenry’s committee grilled the SEC Chair Gary Gensler over his refusal to provide sufficient guidance on whether ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was a security or not.