When it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrencies in America, the government has been rather slow to make any decisions. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has declined multiple applications for Bitcoin ETFs, highlighting the country’s uneasy stance towards cryptos. Despite its lack of progress towards some form of country-wide regulation, candidates for the 2020 election have been quick to announce their stance on cryptos and blockchain technology.
Jared Polis is one of the biggest supporters of blockchain technology and he even wants to make Colorado a blockchain hub. This new wave of blockchain and crypto advocates running for office has sparked sitting congressmen and women to jump into action.
New Blockchain Bills
Congressman Tom Emmer – co-chair of the blockchain caucus – will be presenting three blockchain related bills to congress. The three bills are designed to regulate blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies from a hands-off position, helping the industry grow much like the internet did as a result.
The first bill is titled the “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act.” It will ensure that non-custodial entities don’t require a money remittance license or need to register as a money transmitter. The second bill is titled the “Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act” and it will guarantee that taxpayers that profit from crypto investments aren’t penalized in any way, shape, or form – provided they pay the correct taxes. Finally, the third bill is called the “Resolution Supporting Digital Currencies and Blockchain Technology” and is designed to help the blockchain and crypto industry thrive via natural, untouched growth.
These new bills still have a long way to go before President Trump signs them into law. However, the fact that Capitol Hill has created these bills and is beginning to push them through congress is a promising sign for the future of the American Blockchain industry.
Lobbyists Educating Lawmakers
In addition to the new bills, a handful of pro-crypto lobbyists are taking the time to educate American lawmakers on the nature of the industry and how it can benefit society. The Winklevoss twins created a self-regulatory group called Virtual Commodity Association Working Group (VCAWG). Its purpose is to help create a standard for all crypto exchanges in America.
VCAWG is made up of four top American crypto exchanges. The group has set out to educate lawmakers in order to create a safer and more crypto-friendly set of laws and regulations in the states. These lobbyists are looking at what countries like Malta and Poland are doing to create a reasonable discussion platform, where lawmakers can see the benefits of becoming crypto-friendly.
California Says no to Crypto Donations
While congressmen and women are slowly becoming friendlier towards cryptos, it appears as if a handful of states are taking the opposite approach. For the 2020 elections, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are being tipped to be a major point of discussion. A number of candidates have begun accepting crypto donations to help fund their campaigns, including Presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
By implementing strict KYC procedures, Andrew Yang can identify exactly where his crypto donations have come from – complying with political donation rules. Unfortunately, California’s campaign regulator has just banned Bitcoin from political donations. Any donations up to this point made in Bitcoin will not have to be returned, but all future donations made it Bitcoin will be returned if donors still have the address of the politician’s campaign wallet. Regulators in California voted 3-1 in favor of banning Bitcoin donations, citing “the origin of cryptocurrencies is hard to track and raises questions about transparency” as its reason. If proper KYC processes are put in place, crypto donations are actually very easy to track, highlighting the importance of lobbyist groups and proper crypto education for lawmakers.
America still has a long way to go before cryptos and blockchain can run free, but steps are in place for it to happen. Regulations will slowly start rolling out through new laws and bills, but it could be a number of years before all the states implement these new crypto laws. Until then, America will remain a mixed bag, with states making their own calls on cryptos and blockchain technology.