FIT 21 To Get House Floor Vote – How Many Dems Will Follow?; Blockchain Bills Heading To Floor, Too

bills this month – FIT 21

According to a statement Friday, the digital asset market structure bill  – a.k.a. “Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act” or FIT 21 [H.R.4763] – from House Agriculture and House Financial Services (HFS) will finally reach the House floor later this month after getting approved in separate markups last July.

HFS Chair Patrick McHenry (R, NC) said, “For far too long, the U.S. digital asset ecosystem has been plagued by regulatory uncertainty that has stifled innovation and left consumers unprotected… This comprehensive market structure legislation—the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act—is the culmination of years of bipartisan efforts to finally provide clarity. This includes an unprecedented joint effort by the House Financial Services and Agriculture Committees…” Read the HFS statement.

According to the Floor schedule, FIT 21 will come up the week of May 20 with amendments due this Thursday, May 16.

what you should know: Politico’s Eleanor Mueller reports on X that Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s (R, MN) Securities Clarity Act [H.R.3572] has been added to a revised version of the bill among other edits for the bill.

Like H.J.R.109, the vote for FIT 21 will be a view into the crypto “soul” of the Democrat caucus.  Already in the HFS markup last July (House Ag’s markup was a voice vote), six Democrats voiced support for FIT 21: Rep. Ritchie Torres (D, NY), Rep. Wiley Nickel (D, NC), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D, NJ), Rep. Steven Horsford (D, NV), Brittany Pettersen (D, CO) and Rep. Jim Himes, (D, CT).  And, since the markup, Republicans have been working with various Dems to add more edits and amendments to grow support.

FWIW, Rep. Himes, Horsford and Pettersen did not support H.J.R.109.

Therefore, will even more Dems support FIT 21 than the 21 Democrats who supported rescinding the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin 121?

(By the way.. 21.. crypto’s lucky number?)

bills this month – anti-CBDC

Majority Whip Tom Emmer’s “CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act” [H.R.5403] is also listed for a possible floor vote the same week as FIT 21 by the House Rules Committee.

what you should know: This is a Republican messaging bill in the current Congress and unlikely to pass the Senate or make it to the Senate floor for a vote. Democrats are unlikely to vote for the legislation which has 165 Republican co-sponsors and counting as Republican caucus looks to fall on the right side of the Heritage Foundation’s scorecard (read more).

The conundrum could be… is being “pro-crypto” aligned with “anti-CBDC”? That hasn’t been an argument industry has been making, but it has fit well with conservative ideology of less government, more individual liberty.

Nevertheless, stablecoins present a similar conundrum to a CBDC in that either a company or a government has access to the data that could be used to surveil. Right now, Republicans on the anti-CBDC “train” prefer the functionality of a CBDC (or stablecoin) to be controlled by industry.

bills this week – Rep. Bucshon

The two bipartisan blockchain bills sponsored by Rep. Larry Buchson (R, IN) are on the Majority Leader’s schedule for this week with expectations for a vote beginning Wednesday:

    • H.R. 6571 – Promoting Resilient Supply Chains Act (with 9 bipartisan co-sponsors)
    • H.R. 6572 – Deploying American Blockchains Act (with 3 bipartisan co-sponsors)

The bills are products of the House Energy & Commerce (E&C) Committee’s Innovation, Data & Commerce Subcommittee which included hearings last June and, then again in September.  The bills are focused on using the blockchain as an immutable record and its benefits to U.S. commerce.

Importantly, the blockchain legislation purposefully steers clear of any (potentially “radioactive”) connection to digital assets. Moreover, the bills have bipartisan co-sponsorship as well as unanimous support across party lines coming out of the E&C Committee’s markup in December.

How the Senate and White House take these bills up remains TBD.

bills this week – Rep. Soto

Rep. Darren Soto (D, FL), who has shown consistent interest in blockchain tech during his time in Congress, will see his Consumer Safety Technology Act [H.R.4814] reach the a House floor for a vote this week. The legislation originates from the House Energy & Commerce Committee and, in part, directs the “Secretary of Commerce and FTC to study and report on the use of blockchain technology and digital tokens.”

Like Rep. Bucshon’s blockchain bills, Rep. Soto’s bill includes bipartisan co-sponsorship including Rep. Michael Burgess (R, TX), Rep. Lori Trahan (D, MA), Rep. Brett Guthrie (R, KY) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D, FL).

Last June, Rep. Soto took part in a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce hearing where fellow Democrats Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D, IL) and Rep. Trahan seemed to paint blockchain as a threat. Democrat Trahan’s involvement in this bill seems like a positive step forward.

what you should know: If Rep. Soto had been assigned to House Financial Services at the beginning of the 118th Congress, he would be among the leaders in the group of HFS Dems who have broken away from Dem leadership and its anti-crypto agenda. This current HFS “splinter” group currently includes Rep. Ritchie Torres (D, NY) and Rep. Wylie Nickel (D, NC). Soto is one of the Hill’s O.G.’s when it comes to interest in blockchain-related topics.

bills this week – SAB 121

Given the “privileged” nature of the resolution to Staff Accounting Bulletin 121, the Senate will need to take this resolution up quickly – feels like… this week?

On Friday, Sen. Cynthia Lummis  (R, WY) who is driving the Senate joint resolution [S.J.Res.59] forward continued to rattle her legislative saber on X: “The Biden Admin’s approach to implementing regulations and finding out if they are legal later has been a complete disaster for financial innovation & the broader economy. The House voting to overturn SAB 121 is a major step in holding this runaway regulatory state accountable.”

Also on Friday, Messari CEO Ryan Selkis said on X that according to his source, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) has “told Senate Democrats to ‘vote their conscience’ if SAB 121 comes to a vote in the Senate.”

If true, that’s markedly different tone then the stern warning sent by the White House last Wednesday (PDF) to the House just before H.J.R. 109 was passed unanimously by Republicans and a surprisingly strong minority of the minority – 21 Democrats.

what you should know: So, what’s going on between the White House tone and the message by Schumer, if true? A difference of opinion!

Arguably, the decision by Dem leadership to block the resolution is a policy decision aimed at speaking to the Democratic party base and getting votes in November. But for some party members (perhaps beginning with Schumer), it’s not a decision that makes logical sense nor is it in the interests of voters: who would you trust more in the U.S. with custody.. a regulated or unregulated entity?

money transmitter letter

According to Punchbowl News, Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D, OR) and Senator Cynthia Lummis (R, WY) penned a letter dated May 9 to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding “grave concerns” the Senators have about the Department of Justice’s recently views on what constitutes a money transmitter business.

Paradigm’s government affairs executive Alexander Grieve summarizes the letter on X: “…money transmission reqs ‘accepting’ and ‘transmitting’ money. Providing wallet software does not qualify.”

See the letter (PDF).

Consensys counsel Bill Hughes calls the DOJ’s recent opinion on money transmitting a “reimagining of the Bank Secrecy Act.”

This isn’t the first time that Senators Wyden and Lummis have partnered on a Congressional letter. Back in January, the two sent a letter to the SEC about the hack of the agency’s X account and the false dissemination of information related to Bitcoin spot market ETF approvals.

what you should know: It would not be surprising to see the DOJ and its views on money transmission as the subject of a future hearing from the Republican-led House Financial Services Committee. At the very least, perhaps prudential regulators can offer their views at Wednesday’s HFS hearing.



Only a fool would vote on crypto alone – Molly Jane Zuckerman and Jeff Albus in Blockworks

Ethereum, and blockchain technologies, are threatened by Washington regulators – Joe Lubin, Consensys in Dallas Morning News

Why the US election will decide the fate of Ethereum ETFs – Thomas Carreras in DL News

new crypto PAC

A new political action committee (PAC) is being ignited “Stand With Crypto,” which was begun by the cryptocurrency platform Coinbase.

On X on Friday, Stand with Crypto said in a statement, “Today, we reveal the next step in our movement – a Political Action Committee to directly engage with candidates who support the crypto community.”

The tweet continued, “To accompany this, we have launched two new features on 1. Endorsements: a page dedicated to officially endorsed House and Senate candidates that will champion for common-sense crypto policy. 2. Key Races: a state-by-state dashboard for 2024 elections The Stand With Crypto coalition is nearing 500K members and is not slowing down. We will be ready for November.” See the tweet.

what you should know: For candidates looking for campaign donations, the new crypto PAC should be enticing given the crypto industry’s ever-growing interest in supporting pro-crypto candidates in the the November elections in the United States.

skewer SEC, warn Congress

On Friday, Entrepreneur and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban reacted to a Politico article that former President Trump is making crypto a part of his platform.

Cuban said, “If [President Joe Biden] loses, there is a good chance you will be able to thank [Gary Gensler] and the [NewYork SEC]. Crypto is a mainstay with younger and independent voters. Gensler HAS NOT PROTECTED A SINGLE INVESTOR AGAINST FRAUD…”

Cuban continued,”All he has done is make it nearly impossible for legitimate crypto companies to operate, killing who knows how many businesses and ruining who knows how many entrepreneurs….This is also a warning to Congress….” Read more.

more tips:

Crypto is Trump’s new weapon against Biden – Politico

lowercase letter

“block’s entire shareholder letter was dedicated to why we’re focused on bitcoin, not crypto. the internet needs decentralized digital cash.” – CEO Jack Dorsey of Block on X

Read the letter.

still more tips

CFTC Wants to Ban Trades Tied to Elections, Sports and Awards Contests – The Wall Street Journal

Exiled Russian Opposition Leader Launches Blockchain-Based Referendum on Vladimir Putin’s Election Win – CoinDesk

Your bitcoin isn’t in your wallet –

Crypto VCs Turn Back to ‘Professor Coins’ as Funding Rebounds – Bloomberg