Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) reintroduced the bipartisan Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act with Rep. Darren Soto, legislation designed to remedy concerning Financial Action Task Force (FATF) proposed guidance that threatens to stifle blockchain innovation in the United States and send it overseas.
“Certain blockchain developers and service providers, like miners and multisignature service providers, should not have to register as money transmitters because, simply put, they never custody consumer funds. Blockchain service providers need clear rules of the road to be able to develop and invest in the United States, and this clarity is more necessary than ever as the FATF tries to encapsulate more non-custodial blockchain developers in the money transmission system,” said Congressman Emmer.
Emmer continued, “For the future of blockchain, Decentralized Finance (DeFI), and America’s support for innovation and emerging technologies, it’s imperative that we provide the framework for this technology to thrive, without being limited by outdated rules and overregulation.”
“Certain blockchain developers and service providers, like miners and multisignature service providers, should not have to register as money transmitters because they never custody consumer funds. Blockchain service providers need clear rules of the road to be able to develop and invest in the United States, and this clarity is more necessary than ever as the FATF tries to encapsulate more non-custodial blockchain developers in the money transmission system,” said Emmer.
Emmer concluded, “The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead. These technologies hold untold promise for our economy and for all Americans, and we should be embracing them.”
“The re-introduction of the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act is extremely timely in the wake of the cryptocurrency and infrastructure bill discussion that recently took place. Custody is an incredibly important issue that needs to be considered when defining which regulations apply to who,” said Congressman Darren Soto. “I’m a proud supporter of Rep. Tom Emmer’s bill that is a step in the right direction policy-wise and provides helpful regulatory clarity for innovators in the ecosystem," said Congressman Soto.
"Sound cryptocurrency policy requires calibrating regulations specifically for the activities that present risks that should be mitigated. The Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act would reinforce in law the established understanding that non-custodial services, such as mining or providing wallet software, should not be regulated in the same way as something like running a custodial cryptocurrency exchange," said Jerry Brito, Executive Director of Coin Center.
"The Blockchain Association is proud to support the reintroduction of the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act. By providing commonsense regulatory guardrails, this legislation goes a long way in ensuring the U.S. remains at the forefront of crypto innovation," said Blockchain Association Executive Director Kristin Smith.
“Now more than ever, it is vital that we develop regulatory clarity for blockchain developers and service providers in the United States. As the recent infrastructure bill debate proved, the existing lack of clarity is a serious risk to ongoing growth and innovation in the blockchain and digital asset industry which must be addressed. The Chamber strongly supports this bill, which will help create a more hospitable environment for innovators and encourage growth where inconsistent state and federal legislation has hampered the growth of our industry," said Perianne Boring, Founder and President of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.
In 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) issued draft guidance to expand the definition of virtual asset service provider (VASP) to include any provider that may develop or operate a DeFi platform, even if they have no interaction with users. This action, if implemented in the United States, would require many innovators and developers in the blockchain space who never transmit money or custody consumer funds to navigate the overburdensome and stifling United States’ money transmission system.
This bill is endorsed by the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Coin Center, and the Blockchain Association.
Read the full text of the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act here.
Congressman Emmer served as the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee’s Task Force on Financial Technology during the 117th Congress. In addition, Congressman Emmer became Co-Chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus in 2018. He currently serves as the Ranking Member on the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversights and Investigations.