Leading advocates in Congress re-introduce Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act

On August 17, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) announced that he and Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) were reintroducing the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act

Emmer introduced the original bill at the beginning of 2019. With slight edits, the new version aims to provide the same sort of safe harbor for blockchain firms that do not hold customer assets, which developing guidance threatens with registration as money services businesses. In a statement on the announcement, Emmer said: 

"Certain blockchain developers and service providers, like miners and multisignature service providers, should not have to register as money transmitters because they never custody consumer funds."

This issue has become more pressing with the emergence of decentralized finance last summer. Congressional members expressed concern that developing guidance from the Financial Action Task Force would classify many DeFi operators as virtual asset service providers.


Keep up with the latest news, trends, charts and views on crypto and DeFi with a new biweekly newsletter from The Block's Frank Chaparro

By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy
By signing-up you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

The topic of sparing certain types of crypto businesses from potentially burdensome regulation is a potent one given the recent fight over tax reporting requirements in the Senate. Supportive lawmakers and advocacy groups fought what they called unfair language in a bipartisan infrastructure bill. Ultimately, efforts to carve out compromise amendments failed as that chamber cleared the infrastructure bill. The fight has now shifted to the House, though the contours of that process and what changes are possible remains an open question. 

Crypto interest groups have endorsed the latest legislative effort, with support coming from groups like the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Coin Center and the Blockchain Association. 

The text of the BRCA can be found below:

BRCA by Mike McSweeney on Scribd

About Author

Kollen Post is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things policy and geopolitics from Washington, DC. That includes legislation and regulation, securities law and money laundering, cyber warfare, corruption, CBDCs, and blockchain’s role in the developing world. He speaks Russian and Arabic. You can send him leads at [email protected].