The US House Committee on Financial Services and the US House Committee on Agriculture are set to introduce comprehensive legislation to oversee the cryptocurrency sector within the next two months.
Before releasing the new bill, both committees will hold joint public hearings scheduled for May, he said. Congressman Patrick McHenry, chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, during the Consensus 2023 conference.
The lawmaker also said the bill could be signed into law by President Joe Biden within the next 12 months.
“We plan to announce the deal within the next two months,” McHenry said.
He noted that although it is difficult to legislate something new, the committee plans to announce a bill that addresses the securities and commodities regimes and issues that are difficult to resolve.
The bipartisan issue is slated to be considered before the 2024 election, said Sen. Cynthia Lummis, another participant in the session.
Lummis also shared that if the House moves first on cryptocurrency, it will increase the Senate’s chances of passing the legislation sooner.
Despite several bills advancing on Capitol Hill last year, the US Congress failed to pass comprehensive cryptocurrency legislation.
This month, the House Financial Services Committee advanced another bill aimed at regulating stablecoins that has yet to find significant bipartisan support.
Meanwhile, jurisdictions such as the European Union have already approved the Markets in Crypto Assets Act (MiCA), making it the first major jurisdiction in the world to introduce comprehensive cryptocurrency legislation.
Regulators in Japan and the United Arab Emirates have followed suit and moved to regulate the space, while Hong Kong and the United Kingdom have reviewed their approach to cryptocurrency.
US steps up efforts to regulate cryptocurrency after FTX collapse
The recent collapse of FTX and some other prominent digital asset companies has put pressure on lawmakers to introduce legislation that provides adequate guidance and protection for the industry.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the two largest financial regulators in the US, have begun an aggressive crackdown on the crypto industry.
The CFTC recently announced that it is suing Binance and founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao over allegations that the crypto exchange knowingly offered unregistered crypto derivatives products in the US in violation of the law.
In addition, the SEC sent a “Wells notice” to Coinbase, threatening the crypto exchange with legal action over certain listed digital assets, its staking service Coinbase Earn, Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Wallet.
McHenry also acknowledged the recent role of cryptocurrency in the US banking crisis, which has strained banking relations.
“We have to solve this problem, we have to ensure that you can do your banking in a safe and secure way,” he said. “This is a great example of why Congress needs to legislate and provide clarity.”
The senator also pushed for clearer regulatory rules.
Last week, the McHenry Committee criticized SEC Chairman Gary Gensler for his refusal to provide sufficient guidance on whether ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is a security or not.