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US Senator Bill Seeks To Ease Crypto Exchanges From SEC Enforcement Action

Senator Bill Haggerty, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, has introduced legislation that seeks a safe harbor for cryptocurrency exchanges from “certain” Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement actions.

The Digital Transactions Clarification Act of 2022, introduced by Senator Hagerty, addresses two major concerns plaguing cryptocurrency exchanges: (i) the classification of digital assets, and (ii) based on existing securities laws. It is intended to provide regulatory clarity on the liability involved.

A bill that would provide a safe harbor for digital asset intermediaries from certain enforcement actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission and for other purposes. Source: congress.gov

Senator Hagerty outlined the issues among the regulatory hurdles.

“Currently, the lack of clarity in regulation for digital assets leaves entrepreneurs and businesses with a choice: navigate through the regulatory ambiguity in the US or move abroad to markets with clear digital asset regulations.” .”

According to Senator Haggerty, the aforementioned regulatory uncertainty discourages investment in the crypto space and hinders job creation opportunities in the United States. As a result, the lockdown “will jeopardize US leadership in this transformative technology at such a critical time.”

Senators believed the bill, if passed, would improve growth and liquidity in the U.S. cryptocurrency market as well as provide “much-needed certainty” to cryptocurrency businesses.

To establish legislation as law, a bill must be approved by the Senate, House of Representatives, and the President of the United States.

Related: US lawmakers propose to amend cybersecurity bill to include crypto firms reporting potential threats

Alongside regulatory reforms recommended by US Senators, the federal government stepped up efforts to explore the feasibility of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) in the US market.

Under Biden’s direction, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) analyzed 18 CBDC design options and outlined various strengths and weaknesses of each system.

“The technology underpinning the permissionless approach could improve significantly over time, making it more suitable for use in a CBDC system.”

A technical assessment of US CBDC systems highlighted the sector’s propensity for off-ledger, hardware-protected systems.