Congressman Warren Davidson (R-OH) has reportedly announced his intention to introduce legislation to enable more effective federal regulation of cryptocurrency and ICOs, according to Cleveland.com. Davidson made the announcement on Monday, during the Blockland Solutions conference.
The Ohio Republican said that his legislation would create a new asset class for digital currencies and ICOs that would enable them to avoid being classified as securities. Davidson suggested that the plan is to create a more effective way for the federal government to regulate initial coin offerings. He also said that his legislation will provide greater legitimacy to the blockchain industry.
Davidson has taken a keen interest in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry in recent months. He hosted a roundtable event called “Legislating Certainty for Cryptocurrencies” in September, and was co-author of a letter to the SEC requesting that the commission provide clearer regulatory guidance for the industry to avoid driving technology companies out of the country.
To date, the SEC has refused to provide clear guidelines, and has instead relied on a strategy of enforcement that treats all ICOs as securities and moves against those that fail to register with regulators or obtain an exemption. Some industry observers have questioned that approach, suggesting that enforcement without clear guidelines is manifestly unfair.
Davidson’s legislation could help to bring clarity to the government’s position on digital currencies and ICOs. At present, different parts of the government have chosen to define cryptocurrencies in different ways. The IRS considers them property subject to capital gains taxes; the SEC has suggested that some digital currencies and most ICOs are securities; the CFTC views them as commodities; and at least two other government entities treat them as money for AML and sanctions enforcement purposes.