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Rep. Tom Emmer Mulls Bringing Back Bill Aimed at Reducing Crypto Red Tape

Tom Emmer is contemplating bringing legislation that would eliminate the need for firms to register as money transmitters if they do not handle client assets.

In the aftermath of the FTX collapse, crypto-friendly Congressman Tom Emmer is contemplating re-introducing a bipartisan measure that would remove the necessity for some crypto firms and projects to register as Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs).

The “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” was introduced by Republican Emmer and Democratic Congressman Darren Soto. It was first introduced to the 117th Congress on August 17, 2021, but never advanced.

Emmer’s prospects may be better the second time around, considering the present context in which the US government is trying to get legislation off the ground in order to avoid another FTX-style tragedy.

Emmer tweeted on December 15 that it’s “probably a good time” to reintroduce the measure, adding, “The bill argues that blockchain firms that never hold customer assets are not money transmitters… giving vital legal stability to guarantee the future of crypto respects American values.”

The measure itself seeks to establish criteria for “blockchain developers and service providers” such as miners, multi-signature service providers, and decentralized finance (DeFi) systems.

While a lot of US lawmakers have used the opportunity to bash crypto alongside the FTX collapse, at this week’s House Financial Services Committee hearing, Emmer applauded the crypto community for leveraging blockchain technology to find critical information about the firm’s activities.

On the opposite end of the political spectrum, crypto-skeptic Senator Elizabeth Warren, together with Senator Roger Marshall, presented the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2022 on December 14.

The measure aims to prohibit financial institutions from employing privacy tools like crypto mixers and to require crypto businesses to follow the same money-laundering standards as banks, as well as to regulate crypto kiosks (ATMs).

It would also need the implementation of know-your-customer (KYC) rules by miners, custodial and self-custodial wallet providers.

Senator Cynthia Lummis, a well-known hodler and Bitcoin supporter, has opposed the measure, claiming that such KYC procedures would not function in the context of crypto.

On December 14, Lummis said that she planned to reintroduce a measure that would delegate most crypto jurisdiction to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission, as Warren and others want.

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