Competitive Enterprise Institute Securities Expert on Crypto Legislation: “It will have many positive effects”

John Berlau, a securities and regulatory expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has shared his initial thoughts on the bi-partisan legislation posted today by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cynthia Lummis. Berlau, long a supporter of beneficial Fintech innovation believes the legislation is a solid step in the direction of creating a path to compliance for the digital asset sector of Fintech.

Berlau, a senior fellow and Director of Finance Policy at CEI, had this to say:

“The long-awaited bipartisan Responsible Financial Innovation Act, sponsored by Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), is a thoughtful plan to move crypto innovation forward and help ordinary American entrepreneurs, investors, and consumers benefit from this innovation.

The bill pares back the overreaching tax-reporting provision of last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by clarifying that ‘brokers’ are only those who handle ‘sales of digital assets at the direction of their customers’ and not miners or software engineers who have no interaction with crypto consumers. The bill also generally limits the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to cryptocurrencies that are actual securities that share properties with stocks and bonds, limiting the SEC’s current overreach in claiming jurisdiction over any token that may have investment value.

My CEI colleagues and I will have more to say as we read through the bill, but to the degree the bill reduces regulatory uncertainty and fosters a sense of permissionless innovation, it will have many positive effects.”

While the legislation is bi-partisan the path to becoming law if ever, will take some time. There are opponents of crypto in both the House and Senate that will attempt to undermine the legislation as it works its way through the legislative process. More to follow.


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