On Tuesday night, the Consumer Safety Technology Act passed in the House of Representatives. Two of its three titles were blockchain and crypto-focused bills from Representative Darren Soto (D-Fl), while the third focuses on regulating AI.
Soto's bills had previously passed in the House, only to be shelved amid the political maelstrom that surrounded the end of the last Congress and the presidential election. Their passage this early in the current Congress will at the very least give the Senate more time to consider them than they had last time around.
The Blockchain Innovation Act would require the Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, to put together a report on blockchain's use in trade and, especially, to fight fraud. On the House floor last night, Soto described the bill as "a first step towards our long-term goal of setting up a Blockchain Center of Excellence in the Department of Commerce."
The Digital Taxonomy Act — not to be confused with Warren Davidson's Token Taxonomy Act — starts with the proposition that "the use of digital tokens and blockchain technology is likely to increase in the future." It subsequently mandates that the FTC assemble a report on unfair and deceptive practices in crypto markets.
The legislation's progress comes on the heels of major public attention on illicit use of cryptocurrencies following high-profile ransomware attacks like Colonial Pipeline and JBS.
The fate of these bills in the Senate remains to be seen. The House has attracted a growing number of crypto advocates over the years, but the Senate, which faces less frequent turnover and hosts far fewer lawmakers, has shown less interest in blockchain regulation. That may also be changing, though not necessarily in a way favorable to the industry.