Bipartisan bill for blockchain competitiveness passes US House

As the cryptocurrency community eagerly anticipates the United States House of Representatives vote on the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century (FIT21) Act, another, albeit less ambitious, pro-crypto legislation has already been passed: the Deploying American Blockchains Act of 2023, approved by a substantial margin of 334 to 79.

This bipartisan bill instructs the secretary of commerce—currently Gina Raimondo—to undertake actions deemed necessary and appropriate to enhance the competitiveness of the United States in blockchain technology or other forms of distributed ledger technology.

The legislation designates the secretary as the primary presidential advisor on blockchain and assigns several key responsibilities, including policy development, research, and promotion of the technology. Additionally, it mandates the establishment of an advisory committee comprising representatives from government, industry, academia, and culture, tasked with presenting an annual report to Congress.

Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester and Larry Bucshon introduced the bill, both of whom lack prior involvement in blockchain or cryptocurrency matters. On December 5, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously endorsed it, with the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Blockchain Association lending their support.

Notable opponents of the bill included crypto skeptics Sean Casten, Bill Foster, and Brad Sherman, as well as pro-crypto Senator Cynthia Lummis’s fellow House member Harriet Hageman. Casten, alongside Sherman, Foster, and others, led the Blockchain Integrity Act, introduced into the House on May 7. This proposed legislation aims to prohibit the use of crypto mixing services for a period of two years while the Treasury Department conducts an evaluation of such services. However, this bill is yet to be brought to a vote.

The House officially passed the Deploying American Blockchains Act on May 15, coinciding with the approval of two other bills— the Consumer Safety Technology Act and the Promoting Resilient Supply Chains Act— which have implications for blockchain technology. All these bills will now proceed for consideration in the Senate.

Currently, there are approximately 50 bills related to cryptocurrency under consideration in the U.S. Congress, each at varying stages of evaluation.


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