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McHenry, Lynch Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Establish Digital Asset Working Group


McHenry, Lynch Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Establish Digital Asset Working Group




Washington,
March 9, 2021 
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Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Republican leader of the House Financial Services Committee, and Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Chair of the Financial Technologies Task Force, introduced H.R. 1602, the Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act this week. This bipartisan bill will require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to establish a digital asset working group to ensure collaboration between regulators and the private sector to foster innovation.

“Innovators across the country are leading the way on financial technology—Washington needs to keep up,” said Rep. McHenry. “Establishing this working group is an important step to provide necessary regulatory clarity. By ensuring increased collaboration we can create an environment that encourages innovation, rather than holding it back. Digital assets have untold potential benefits for consumers, American businesses, and our standing as a world leader in developing these technologies. This working group will provide insight into how we can work with innovators to unleash these benefits.”

“Digital assets have the potential to make transactions more efficient, increase inclusion across our financial system and raise capital for small businesses,” said Rep. Lynch.  “As this technology continues to develop and deploy, it is extremely important that we consider the possible vulnerabilities that the wider adoption of digital assets might present while addressing the lack of clarity in the regulation of these financial instruments to mitigate potential harms that may occur.  This bill will create critical collaboration between the S.E.C., the C.F.T.C. and Congress that will ultimately help create fair and transparent markets, and I would like to thank my colleague Rep. McHenry for his partnership and work on this bill in the Financial Services Committee.”

Background:

  • The Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act will require the SEC and CFTC to establish a working group on digital assets, which will consist of appointees from the Commission as well as representatives from financial technology companies, financial firms, and small businesses, among others.
  • The working group will produce a report within a year that will include an analysis of the domestic regulatory framework and the developments in other countries relating to digital assets.
  • The report also requests insight into best practices to reduce fraud, protect investors, and assist in compliance with obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act.

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