With just a few days until the US government is controlled by the Democratic Party the normal "congestion" or logjam of bills being passed between the two Houses of Congress and the Executive Branch will cease to exist. One party has not controlled the government outright since 2019 when the Republicans controlled all 3 sections. These two years of a divided government economically was a pretty great time for people in the US. Unemployment was extremely low and this expanded to within minority populations as well which is often an issue with unemployment numbers. Once COVID hit though everything went sideways for the Trump Administration and the Republican Party leading to the loss of the Presidency and Senate.
With this change coming and tax season coming what is the outlook for crypto and what I was able to find I was not too happy with. The Internal Revenue Service or IRS has failed to give clear directives of how taxes will be applied to crypto and this is due to a failure by Congress to give them a clear directive. The biggest policy implication that could pass would be one that the crypto community first saw/heard of last year.
That would be the STABLE Act. This proposed law was introduced to the House of Representatives last year by Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (IL-04), and the Chairman of Task Force on Financial Technology Stephen Lynch (MA-08). STABLE stands for the Stablecoin Tethering and Bank Licensing Enforcement and has been billed as something to protect consumers from Facebook's Diem (previously known as Libra) and other Stablecoins offered in the market.
When this bill first debut it was widely criticized and with really really good reason. This bill has several components to it including
- Requiring any prospective issuer of a stablecoin to obtain a banking charter
- Any company offering stablecoin services must follow banking regulations under the existing regulatory jurisdiction
- Require any company or bank issuing a stablecoin to notify and obtain approval from the Federal Reserve (Fed), the FDIC, and the appropriate banking agency 6 months prior to issuing said stablecoin and continue to run an analysis of potential systemic impacts and risks
- Require any stablecoin issuer to obtain FDIC insurance or maintain reserves at the Fed to ensure all stablecoins can be converted into USD on demand.
Just looking at this list of regulations should send shivers down the spine of crypto lovers and users. I will separate myself from most people by saying I do agree that somehow/someway the issues need to prove they have the reserves that they say they do. This was an issue with Tether for a while as people were not sure they actually had all the USD that they claimed they had. Imagine the amount of money that would be lost if Tether or Maker did not have the funds for their stablecoins. It would be unimaginable and set crypto back for who knows how long.
While I can agree with the transparency there is not much else in the bill that would be beneficial to the very people this bill is supposed to protect. Having these issues like decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) and other organization to have to get a banking charter would wreck havck on the banking system itself. A DAO trying to get a banking charter is almost a joke as who is the one in charge?!? Same with the insurance how does something with no central power no central figure have the ability to acquire this? A passage of this act could require some DAO's to centralize destorying the very fabric of the DAO.
In theory the Democratic goverment could if everyone falls in line force this act through Congress and the Executive Branch. This is one of the reasons that a divided goverment is not all that bad and has lead to some if the most productive years in US history. It is my hope as I am sure it is with many others who care and see the amazing power of crypto that this bill undergoes some extreme changes. Laws have to adapt and change overtime and with the rise in DAO's this requires laws that will adapt to decentralized and hopefully the politicians will.