US House Passes Bill to Require Financial Regulators to Set Up Digital Assets Working Group

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The Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021 seeks to establish a digital asset working group with representatives from the SEC and CFTC.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed several pieces of bipartisan legislation including a section on digital assets, according to a press release from the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday.

Known as the Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021 (H.R. 1602), the bill was introduced by Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) in March.

The legislation seeks to set up a digital asset working group with representatives from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The purpose of the group is to “ensure collaboration between regulators and the private sector” in order to foster innovation, according to the release. Under the terms of the bill, Congress is to create the working group within a 90-day period from the date of the bill’s passing.

The overarching goal of the legislation seeks to clarify when the SEC has jurisdiction over digital assets, in the case of when they are deemed securities, and when the CFTC has a final say, in the case of when digital assets are classified as commodities.

Representatives outside the government are also to be involved and are to come from a financial technology company, a financial services institution and small businesses using financial technology. Investor protection groups, organizations that support investments in underserved businesses and at least one academic researcher will also be included, as CoinDesk previously reported.

“This is the first step in opening up the dialogue between our regulators and market participants and move to needed clarity,” said McHenry.

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