Many die-hard crypto enthusiasts think of Government regulation and instantly are turned off by the idea of the Government interfering with what is going on in the crypto sphere. While I am the first to say the government can easily go way way way too far there still are some basic protecting that I feel could really be beneficial for the everyday person. That all being said living in Washington, D.C. gives me some insight into what is going on on Capitol Hill and how it might impact crypto users! This is a pretty frequent topic that I have also seen talked about not only on this website but also in different discords I am part of.
The biggest question is are there any regulations coming up in the near term and that one is pretty easy to discuss. As a quick background, Congress in the US is divided between the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House allows for those with larger populations to have more Representatives while the Senate has two senators for each state for a total of 100. As the current breakdown is the Democratic Party is considered the majority party in both chambers with an 8 seat lead out of 435 members in the House and a 50/50 split in the Senate. In the Senate, though the VIce President casts the tie-breaking vote and since the VP is a Democrat she can break any and all ties in the Democrats' favor.
Thus far only a single bill has gotten through the Senate that could cause a pretty big impact on Crypto and that would be the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. The biggest and probably the most important thing that has come out of this bill was the reporting on $10,000 transactions that companies must now report. There is also the issue of applying the term "broker" to the crypto realm. In traditional finance, it is something that is easily applied to several different positions or things that are done in traditional finance and so the laws are structured around this. In the crypto world though there is an issue that miners and those who stake could be caught up in this law however since it is not structured for them they actually would not have the proper information to fill out the legally required forms. This is really due to the fact that brokers have customers and there is the ability for people to qualify as brokers through staking or some other means themselves and therefore not have customers leading to the info lacking.
This issue though has already been risen and sadly an amendment that again had bipartisan support failed to get added to the final Senate bill before it passed and was sent down to the House. While it failed to get addressed now I think that personally, it is key that this was already identified! Congress is notoriously slow in even identifying issues not to mention address them. This time though it was found and attempted to be fixed which is pretty big in itself! This issue also would not affect the average crypto user as most people in the space as not moving $10,000's of dollars around at a time! So far with what is in this bill, the average person is not affected.
Currently, the bill is awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives. This bill and the upcoming spending bill have caused quite a headache for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as she recently had to reach an agreement with moderates to bring the Infrastructure Bill to the floor for a vote by September 27th. Sadly this is not binding but if it does not happen it could lead to huge issues for uniting the Democratic party to pass things. As it currently stands the House will not be voting on anything until the evening of September 20th leaving Pelosi little time to get the Infrastructure and Spending Bills passed at the same time. In the Senate, the $3.5 spending bill has hit another snag with one Democrat already saying we need to hit pause on this bill and look at the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and the immense damage caused by the Fires out West and Hurricane Ira. If the Senate has not passed their Bill and odds are it will differ from the House Speaker Pelosi could be forced to face a decision on either continue with what she said she would in passing them at the same time or face the wrath of the moderate parts of her party by failing to keep her word.
There is one thing that I have learned this Congressional Session and that is that some of the members of Congress are honestly pretty well versed in crypto and some members even own coins and tokens like Bitcoin! An interesting tidbit I think is how Republicans be it at the state level or in Congress have been the people protecting, advocating for, and even passing legislation to protect crypto! Wyoming Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis, a first-term senator, has gone on record saying she had owned Bitcoin for years prior to being elected and is a huge supporter! Even retiring Senator Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania is known as a crypto-friendly person. There is one member who readers might have heard of as he called for an outright ban on crypto just months ago. Representative Brad Sherman a Democrat from California (CA-30) called for an outright ban! States like Texas and Wyoming have also passed state laws recognizing and protecting crypto and DeFi as well!