The Responsible Financial Innovation Act will establish guardrails “to prevent another FTX-style event from occurring” in the wake of the 2022 market crash and bankruptcies.
United States Sens. Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand will reintroduce legislation aimed at establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets.
The U.S. lawmakers said they would reintroduce the Responsible Financial Innovation Act to the Senate on July 12 after roughly a year of being tabled in the previous session of Congress. The bipartisan piece of legislation — Lummis is a member of the Republican Party, and Gillibrand is a Democrat — was aimed at clarifying the roles of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission in regulating digital assets, as well as providing consumer protection.
The crypto asset industry is here to stay.
Today, @SenGillibrand and I are reintroducing landmark legislation to create a federal regulatory framework that allows crypto businesses and investors to prosper here in America while protecting consumers from bad actors. pic.twitter.com/z2pr0evWt2
The Lummis-Gillibrand bill was first introduced in June 2022 amid the crypto market crash that resulted in the bankruptcies of several high-profile firms and the price of many tokens plummeting. According to the fact sheet provided by Lummis, the updated legislation will include updates to the U.S. tax code allowing the industry “to fund its own oversight,” as well as guardrails “to prevent another FTX-style event from occurring” — the crypto exchange collapsed in November 2022 after the bill was introduced.
Lummis’ and Gillibrand’s bill was drafted after the collapse of Terraform Labs, the South Korea-based firm that saw its algorithmic stablecoin depeg from the U.S. dollar. As a result, the legislation will also require payment stablecoins to be issued only by depository institutions.
Some lawmakers and industry leaders have criticized U.S. regulators for a lack of clarity that would allow firms to operate without risk of enforcement actions or other crackdowns. Many in the space have praised the Lummis-Gillibrand bill for taking bipartisan action at a time when some elected officials have politicized aspects of the crypto space — from Sen. Elizabeth Warren highlighting illicit uses of digital assets to Florida governor and 2024 presidential candidate Ron DeSantis calling for a ban on central bank digital currencies.
While the Responsible Financial Innovation Act is one option, members of the House of Representatives have proposed other legislation aimed at addressing a framework for cryptocurrencies. A discussion draft released in June in the House would largely limit the SEC’s authority over crypto firms, while the House Financial Services Committee has also drafted legislation proposing the Federal Reserve become the main regulator behind establishing requirements for stablecoins.
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