The U.S. government has shown immense interest in the emerging world of blockchain and crypto digital assets. Since 2019, members in the House of Congress have introduced a total of 32 bills to achieve regulatory clarity of digital assets.
As per a recent Forbes report, the plans by Facebook to launch their Libra digital currency in 2019 aroused increased interest in the crypto and blockchain policy area.
Government officials opposed a Libra Stablecoin argued that such a currency would undermine the soundness of the global banking system and threaten the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency.
Since then, Congress members have stepped up the bid to clarify the regulation of crypto and blockchain tech. They have even mooted the possibility of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), dubbed the digital dollar.
One of the major concerns surrounding digital assets is their use to facilitate criminal activities such as fraud, terrorism, and money laundering.
To this end, legislators on the Senate Banking Committee introduced a draft anti-money laundering amendment mandating federal agencies to examine how virtual currency acts as a vehicle for laundering illicit funds into the U.S. banking system.
Moving Toward Regulatory Clarity
Just two years ago, the concept of CBDCs or even the widespread adoption of digital currency was novel in the U.S.
However, recent events such as the outbreak of Covid-19 and China’s ramped up efforts to develop a digital currency, has forced U.S. lawmakers to consider the use cases of digital assets.
Eager to keep the U.S. abreast with the new tech, Congressman Paul Gosar introduced the “Crypto-Currency Act of 2020,” in March 2020, which sought to provide clarity and legitimacy to crypto assets in the U.S.
In July 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) gave the green light for national banks to offer cryptocurrency custody services for clients.
A similar victory for crypto adoption came on July 24, when a federal court ruled that Bitcoin is a form of legal currency under the Money Transmitters Act.
U.S. Congressmen Warm Up To Crypto
In the past few weeks, U.S. officials have come out to express promising sentiments over the crypto and blockchain space.
In an August 5 letter addressed to the internal revenue service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig, a bipartisan group of congressmen argued that an unbalanced IRS taxation policy could dissuade taxpayers from participating in blockchain token staking.
The lawmakers are confident that America’s inventiveness can drive the developing staking tech, but only if the IRS pursues its mandate without introducing policies that could drive innovation elsewhere.
Another congressman and Bitcoin evangelist believes that the U.S. should embrace digital assets, as the underlying tech will continue to become more relevant post-Covid-19.
In a YouTube interview on August 3, U.S. Representative Tom Emmer noted that BTC would only get stronger after the world finally emerges from the economic crisis brought about by the novel coronavirus.