US House of Representatives Reintroduce Token Taxonomy Act, Which Would Exempt Crypto from Securities Laws

Members of the United States House of Representatives — one of the two houses of the country’s legislative branch, Congress — have reintroduced the Token Taxonomy Act. This news comes via a press release distributed earlier today.

Initially proposed in December by Representatives Warren Davidson (R – Ohio) and Darren Soto (D – Florida), the bill would exclude cryptocurrency from being classified as a security, which would exclude it from falling under securities law. This would occur by amending the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Act of 1934.

Representative Soto said “it is time for the United States to step up and lead in blockchain technology,” before adding:

“After months of public input, our Token Taxonomy Act and the Digital Taxonomy Act add critical definition and jurisdiction to create certainty for a strong digital asset market in the United States. This is an important step to promoting innovation and maximizing the potential of virtual currencies for the U.S. economy, all while protecting customers and the financial well-being of investors.”

According to the press release, the latest version of the bill would differ from the one proposed in December, namely in that it clarifies the jurisdictions of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Additionally, it notes that provisions included in the act would supercede “heavy-handed” regulations like that of New York’s “onerous” BitLicense. The ramifications of this, alone, would be huge, as many companies have been forced to leave New York, or just avoided setting up shop in the state altogether, given how expensive and time-consuming it is to even apply for a BitLicense, let alone potentially wait years for a decision to come down.

The new act also pushes towards more regulatory certainty for regulators and businesses in the blockchain industry in the United States, which would allow them to operate without fear of overstepping any current or future laws, and also seeks to clarify conflicting state initiatives.