As Congress prepares to recess for the holidays, it is a fitting end to 2019, notably marked by the reaction of U.S. lawmakers to the introduction of Project Libra by Facebook, that a bill has surfaced that would provide a sweeping regulatory framework for digital assets including cryptocurrencies.
The bill is called the ‘Crypto-Currency Act of 2020,’ and the stated purpose is to clarify which Federal agencies regulate digital assets, to require those agencies to notify the public of any Federal licenses, certifications, or registrations required to create or trade in such assets, and for other purposes.
An initial review of the bill provides for the following:
(1) Assigns a definition of ‘Federal Digital Asset Regulator’ or ‘Federal Crypto Regulator’ to three agencies – the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
(2) Splits digital assets into three different categories: crypto-currencies, crypto-commodities, and crypto-securities.
(3) The Federal Crypto Regulator is assigned one of the categories and is defined as the sole Government agency with the authority to regulate:
(a) CFTC – crypto-commodities;
(b) SEC – crypto-securities;
(c) FinCEN – crypto-currencies.
(4) Each Federal Crypto Regulator is required to make available to the public and keep current a list of all Federal licenses, certifications, or registrations required to create or trade in digital assets.
(5) Requires the Secretary of the Treasury, through FinCEN, to establish rules similar to financial institutions on the ability to trace cryptocurrency transactions.