Lawmaker Makes Last-Ditch Attempt to Save Crypto from $1.2 Trillion US Infrastructure Bill

August 14, 2021, 11:00 AM AEST - 5 months ago

With the massive US$1.2 trillion American infrastructure bill reaching its next stage, a last-ditch effort is being made to change some potentially damaging wording contained within the bill. If the bill is passed as is, it may have some negative ramifications for the American crypto industry.

In a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Anna Eshoo calls once again for an amendment to the bipartisan infrastructure bill that aims to implement possibly damaging regulations to the cryptocurrency industry.

The August 12 letter urges Pelosi to amend “the problematic broker definition” in the Senate-passed bill that now faces the lower chamber.

According to a leadership aide, the final language in the infrastructure bill will be reviewed. After the first attempt to amend the language fell short by one vote, Eshoo urged Pelosi to reconsider the wording.

According to the cryptocurrency groups and digital rights groups that combined to lobby for an amendment in the Senate, they will be taking the fight to the House after failing to secure changes in the upper chamber.

Reporting Could Be Used as Financial Surveillance

The infrastructure bill contains a provision that aims to implement additional reporting requirements for the crypto industry to help raise tax revenue for the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill. The requirements could raise US$28 billion over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The bill will be looked at again at the end of the month after the House returns from recess. According to Jake Chervinsky, general counsel for Compound Labs, “the good news is the language doesn’t take effect until 2023. In fact, it doesn’t require any new reporting until after December 31 of 2023, meaning reports filed in 2024 will have to include transactions that are subject to the provision from fiscal year 2023.”

Ultimately, Chervinsky believes the bill might contain some “Fourth Amendment concerns”. With the government being allowed to use such a broad range of private actors to take part in financial reporting of American citizens and companies, there are worries about possible surveillance issues if government were to obtain this information.

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