Posted 10 months ago | by Catoshi Nakamoto
U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Az.), and Rob Portman (R-Oh.) have announced a bipartisan agreement on an amendment to fix the digital asset reporting requirements in the controversial infrastructure bill.
UPDATE – 5:00 P.M. EST — The Senate has failed to pass the bipartisan compromise on a crypto tax provision within the $1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill after one single Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) filed an objection to the revised legislation. The lone Alabama Senator chose to reject all amendments as long as his own amendment for increasing military spending by $50 Billion wasn’t included in the infrastructure bill.
Jerry Brito commented on the disappointing failure to pass the revised text in the Senate, expressing that we may have lost a battle, but the war is not over. Brito said, that we will now move to craft a whole new amendment from scratch in the upper chambers of the U.S. House.
1/ The bad news is that the amendment did not receive unanimous consent, so it will not make it into the bill.
The good news is we’re not giving up. Next stop is the House where we can try to get a whole new amendment from scratch that can address all our concerns.
— Jerry Brito (@jerrybrito) August 9, 2021
In a joint statement, the Senators stated that digital asset exchanges should be classified as brokers as traditional brokers already are. In addition, they added, there are ongoing concerns about tax evasion surrounding digital currencies. However, they have come to an agreement that the reporting requirements are far too broad, ensnaring individuals, developers, and others within the ecosystem.
“There’s broad agreement that digital asset exchanges behaving as brokers should be required to report transactions just like other kinds of brokers already do. There is also concern that tax evasion and non-compliance are becoming significant issues surrounding cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Some have expressed confusion concerning the underlying text of the infrastructure bill, suggesting it would result in the application of reporting requirements far too broadly and ensnare individuals, developers, and other elements of this ecosystem that could not comply with a reporting mandate.”
The group of senators expressed that they worked along with the Treasury Department to ensure the language of the text was clearly understood and defined for the term “brokers.” In addition, they said that they want to make sure the obligations are solely for “entities that are regularly effectuating transactions of digital assets in exchange.” Therefore, the amendment would exempt —software developers, cryptocurrency transaction validators, node operators, and other non-brokers like hardware and software wallet providers.
“We’ve worked with the Treasury Department to clarify the underlying text and ensure that those who are not acting as brokers will not be subject to the bill’s reporting requirements. While we each would have drafted this solution differently, we all agree it’s important to ensure that these obligations are properly crafted to apply only to entities that are regularly effectuating transactions of digital assets in exchange for consideration. To best memorialize this common understanding, we propose to incorporate this important amendment into the infrastructure bill and urge our colleagues to join us in enacting this bipartisan clarification.”
The five Senators may go down as the crypto five musketeers that saved the digital markets from the big bad Janet Yellen, who takes orders from the ancient dinosaur banks. It might not be a catchy children’s story to tell your kids. But it’s the damn truth as Bitboy Crypto reported, Yellen tried to lobby for the original bill’s highly flawed language, and she has throughout her career received countless money from the banks. As a former Federal Reserve head and currently the U.S. Treasury Secretary, one would think that would be classified as bribery.
Notably, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) was missing from the amendment. However, Wyden indicated he would not oppose the measure, tweeting that it is “certainly better than the underlying bill.”
“We’ve been working hard to get a deal. I don’t believe the cryptocurrency amendment language on offer is good enough to protect privacy and security, but it’s certainly better than the underlying bill. Majority Leader Schumer says he won’t block a unanimous consent request on it,” Wyden tweeted before the deal was formally announced to the public.
The Senators gave a special press conference following the news that they had all reached a deal together, which was broadcast on Periscope. At the presser event, several of the Senators answered questions from journalists about the Infrastructure Bill.
Senators Toomey and Lummis Hold Press Conference on Agreement to Fix Digital Asset Reporting Requirements in the Infrastructure Bill https://t.co/oqJLIIIQw7
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) August 9, 2021
There is still the potential for the amendment to not be voted on for the massively expensive $1 trillion dollar infrastructure bill. This is because it would require the vote of all 100 senators by the end of today to be added to the current bill. There are only 24 hours for all the Senators to agree otherwise the bill will retain the original language that has been staunchly opposed by the crypto industry and investors alike.
The Blockchain Association backed the compromise announced by Portman and Lummis. The group’s executive director, Kristin Smith, said in a statement that while the deal “leaves work to be done, the Blockchain Association fully supports this improvement to the original language.”
I agree with Jerry. This isn’t perfect, but better than the underlying bill. More work to do, but the Senate should move to adopt this language today. https://t.co/rPnAvZqyUo
— Kristin Smith (@KMSmithDC) August 9, 2021
It’s important to mention that this legislation still has to get through the House, which can make revisions before the final bill goes for a vote in the upper chamber of Congress. So even if the U.S. Senate fails to pass the new amendment in a unanimous decision there is still hope that the language in the bill will be changed before the final vote into law. Although, it can’t be stressed enough that the time is now to call and email your local Senators, tell them to vote yes on the proposed bipartisan amendment to save the crypto industry. While you are at it as Senator Ted Cruz of Texas highlighted, only five Senators understand crypto, so offer to educate them about the technology as well.
Bitcoin is currently trading at [FIAT: $45,949.00] UP +5.0% in the last 24 hours according to Coingecko at the time of this report.