- A “disastrous” rival amendment to the cryptocurrency provision of the Infrastructure Bill has been tabled by two senators
- The new amendment only excludes proof-of-work miners but includes all other potentially affected sectors
- The bill will likely be voted on tomorrow
The Biden administration has thrown a spanner into the works of the hard-fought amendment to the crypto element of the Infrastructure Bill at the eleventh hour. Two White House senators, Mark Warner and Rob Portman, published an alternative amendment which still includes cryptocurrency project developers and proof-of-stake validators among the list of those who would be subject to expanded reporting and taxation, something that is seen as borderline impossible by those within the industry.
“Disastrous” Alternative Amendment Emerges
A week’s worth of blood, sweat, and tears went into drafting an amendment that still meets many of the demands set out by the original crypto element of the Infrastructure Bill but brings it into the realms of feasibility – i.e. not including miners, validators, crypto developers, or wallet makers as ‘brokers’. Were they to be included, onerous Know Your Customer requirements would be placed on these individuals and companies which would be almost impossible to adhere to given the very nature of the blockchain ecosystem.
After An amendment was drafted and yesterday formally backed by three senators, Ron Wyden, Cynthia Lummis, and Pat Toomey, and it seemed that common sense had prevailed. This theory was extinguished last night however when an alternative amendment described as “disastrous” by Coin Center CEO Jerry Brito was published that only excluded proof-of-work miners but kept all other sectors in:
If this passes this is the U.S. Congress picking winners and losers.
— Jerry Brito (@jerrybrito) August 5, 2021
As Brito points out, it is now a straight fight between the two amendments, with the vote slated for today or Saturday. There his however a potentially left field option fielded by senator Ted Cruz who had filed an amendment to strike the bill entirely, although this is the least likely option given the funding gap the White House believes it would leave.
Infrastructure Bill Still Needs Digesting
Even if the Wyden-Lummis-Toomey amendment does pass, the overall ramifications of the Infrastructure Bill for the crypto industry in the U.S. will be huge, the contents of which will be digested in the weeks following the votes, whichever way it goes. All eyes will now be on the senate floor tomorrow, and the cryptocurrency market will likely feel the impact whatever the outcome.