U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) today introduced the “Responsible Financial Innovation Act.” In a statement, the Senators called the proposed Act “landmark bipartisan legislation that will create a complete regulatory framework for digital assets that encourages responsible financial innovation, flexibility, transparency and robust consumer protections while integrating digital assets into existing law.”
The announcement was accompanied by a Medium post on Senator Gillibrand’s account. “his bipartisan package, which would address CFTC and SEC jurisdiction, stablecoin requirements, and the treatment of digital assets for tax purposes, would ultimately generate more flexibility, innovation, consumer protections, and transparency while providing more certainty and clarity to the growing digital assets industry,” she wrote. Her office provided a breakdown of the proposed Act’s measures.Lummis-Gillibrand-Responsible-Financial-Innovation-Act-Final
Lummis is a cryptocurrency advocate and early Bitcoin investor who has made appearances at crypto conferences and events. Gillibrand has boosted the opportunity that she says cryptocurrencies represent for New York, a financial center, and has been wooed by Silicon Valley venture capitalists.
Cryptocurrency investors and industry groups are behind the legislation.
Politico: “This is the starting point for discussions about what the law should look like,” said Miles Jennings, crypto general counsel and head of decentralization at Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley venture firm that’s a major investor and lobbying force in the world of digital assets. “I think that is one of the reasons we’re excited about it.”
Washington Post: The bill “represents a milestone moment for crypto policy and a major step forward for the crypto industry in Washington,” Blockchain Association executive director Kristin Smith said. Perianne Boring, chief executive of the Chamber for Digital Commerce, called it a “foundational, comprehensive start.” And Sheila Warren, chief executive of the Crypto Council for Innovation, said the bill amounts to “a significant step forward. The crypto community has called for greater regulatory clarity, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with policymakers across the political spectrum in the next stages of discussion and work ahead.”
NBC reports the two Senators say “they were flooded with proposals from industry players vying for input on the legislation,” and that they plan to promote the bill at a cryptocurrency conference in Texas this week.
Justin Hendrix is CEO and Editor of Tech Policy Press, a new nonprofit media venture concerned with the intersection of technology and democracy. Previously, he was Executive Director of NYC Media Lab. He spent over a decade at The Economist in roles including Vice President, Business Development & Innovation. He is an associate research scientist and adjunct professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Opinions expressed here are his own.