One of cryptocurrency’s most vocal advocates in Congress, Wyoming Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis, plans to present a comprehensive bill next year that will address everything from how digital assets are taxed and classified to consumer safeguards.
Consumer protections, stablecoin regulation, and the establishment of a new organization under the combined jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission to supervise the digital asset market are all provisions of the bill, according to a senior aide who informed Bloomberg on December 22.
Moreover, if the bill is passed, it would also provide regulators with clear guidance on which digital assets belong to various asset classes.
A member of the Senate Banking Committee, Lummis, is widely regarded as a leading proponent of cryptocurrency, in which she also has an interest. According to filings [PDF], she acknowledged a Bitcoin purchase of between $50,001 and $100,000 that she made earlier this year in October.
Politicians divided on crypto
“I do think that Bitcoin is here to stay. And I think a lot of the others are not, the fact that Bitcoin is fully decentralized and that some of these others were issued by a person or an entity that kept a large block of the coin for themselves, and then issued others to participate means they look more like a security than a commodity. Bitcoin is clearly a commodity. It is digital gold,” said Lummis.
Notably, an increasing number of politicians and government workers in the United States are working with cryptocurrency, Lummis’ Wyoming website utilizes the Bitpay platform to take payments in Bitcoin for campaign contributions while former South Carolina gubernatorial candidate John Warren launched a new Bitcoin mining company called GEM Mining just last week on December 15.
All in all, as one of the first attempts to establish comprehensive regulations for the rapidly expanding cryptocurrency industry, the bill faces a difficult path through a Senate that is evenly divided on the issue, primarily along political lines. Senator Elizabeth Warren, for example, recently questioned Bitcoin mining operations, claiming that crypto miners contribute to environmental damage.