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Crypto’s Capitol Hill Victory: House Approves FIT21, Aims to Establish Clear Rules for Crypto Industry

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The U.S. House of Representatives made history on Wednesday by passing the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21), a comprehensive bill aimed at regulating the digital assets industry.

The legislation, which received bipartisan support with a vote of 279 in favor and 136 opposed, marks a significant milestone for the crypto sector as it seeks to establish clear rules and oversight for the rapidly growing market.

TLDR

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act (FIT21) with bipartisan support (279 in favor, 136 opposed).
FIT21 aims to establish a regulatory framework for digital assets, granting more oversight to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over crypto spot markets.
The bill received criticism from the White House, SEC Chair Gary Gensler, and House Financial Services Committee Ranking Democrat Maxine Waters, who argued it lacks sufficient consumer protections and could undermine existing securities regulations.
The passage of FIT21 in the House marks a significant milestone for the crypto industry, but the bill’s future in the Senate remains uncertain.
Lawmakers and industry experts emphasize the need for clear regulations to foster innovation and protect consumers in the rapidly evolving digital assets market.

FIT21, primarily driven by House Republicans, aims to create a regulatory framework for digital assets by setting consumer protections, designating the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as the primary regulator for digital commodities, and clarifying the distinction between securities and commodities in the context of crypto tokens.

FIT21 unlocks a conversation beyond innovation. It’s about national security, consumer protection & global competitiveness.

It’s about shaping what the future global digital economy looks like and how it functions.

Let’s give Americans the clarity needed to seize this moment. pic.twitter.com/scdatvjyp5

— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) May 22, 2024

The bill’s passage in the House is seen as a major victory for the industry, which has long sought regulatory clarity to foster innovation and attract mainstream adoption.

However, the legislation has faced criticism from various quarters, including the White House, SEC Chair Gary Gensler, and House Financial Services Committee Ranking Democrat Maxine Waters.

They argue that FIT21 lacks sufficient safeguards for consumers and investors and could potentially undermine existing securities regulations.

Waters called the bill one of the worst she has ever seen, claiming it would reward illegal activities by making them legal.

Despite the opposition, 71 Democrats crossed party lines to support the bill, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Proponents of the legislation, such as Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who co-sponsored the bill, believe that FIT21 is crucial for the U.S. to maintain its leadership in financial innovation and catch up with other jurisdictions that have already developed regulatory frameworks for digital assets.

The passage of FIT21 in the House now shifts the focus to the Senate, where the bill’s future remains uncertain.

The Senate currently lacks a companion bill, and support for such an effort is unclear. The necessary committees in the Senate have not done the same level of work on crypto as their House counterparts, which could further complicate the legislation’s progress.

Industry experts and lawmakers emphasize the importance of establishing clear regulations for the digital assets market to protect consumers, prevent fraud, and provide a stable environment for innovation.

The U.S. has fallen behind other countries in this regard, and FIT21’s passage in the House is seen as a crucial first step towards catching up.

The passage of FIT21 in the House demonstrates that lawmakers are beginning to recognize the significance of digital assets and the potential they hold for the future of finance.

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