Blockchain-Friendly Minnesota Congressman To Head Fintech Task Force
Blockchain-friendly AND in government?
Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota will be the ranking member of Congress on a Task Force to advance the national discussion on emerging financial technology.
Emmer previously sponsored legislation such as the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, which helped exempt certain blockchain businesses from onerous reporting and licensing requirements when they do not take control of customer funds.
He is also the co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, and is described by Patrick McHenry, the House Financial Services Committee’s Ranking Member, as having “a strong understanding of the intricacies and great opportunities of financial technology”.
Emmer has recently announced three bills to support the development of blockchain technology. “The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills,” he explained.
Resolution Supporting Digital Currencies and Blockchain Technology
Emmer expresses support for the industry and its development in the United States, and suggests that like the internet, the federal government should provide a light touch, consistent, and simple legal environment.
Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act
Affirms that certain blockchain-related entities that never take control of consumer funds do not need to register as a money transmitter. Examples of these entities include “miners” that validate network integrity and multisignature providers that provide enhanced asset security to users.
Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act
Emmer claims that this bill will provide a safe harbor for taxpayers with “forked” digital assets. Further it will restrict fines against individuals that attempt to report these assets until the IRS provides any type of guidance regarding the appropriate means of reporting them.
“I look forward to advancing the discussion around new innovations in our economy and the ways they can lift up those that have previously struggled without access to banking services,” said Emmer in a statement.
Emmer has previously been unimpressed with the legislative arena’s approach to fintech, telling attendees at this year’s DC Blockchain Summit that “Although regulators of blockchain and cryptocurrency have been significantly restrained and have allowed innovation in this space to flourish, we’re currently operating under ‘regulation by enforcement.’ Regulators must provide clear rules of the road to ensure that even the smallest start-up with a brilliant idea can become a major enterprise.”
And in an enlightened moment that must have moved Representative Brad Sherman of California to tears, he continued that “They will tell us the bitcoin is used by criminals, and the blockchain is the real innovation. It’s true there are illicit transactions. But that should not be reason to totally dismiss cryptocurrency.”