US lawmakers wants ‘safe harbor’ for crypto startups

U.S. lawmaker, Tom Emmer wants to assist crypto companies which may have been affected by state-level money transmission laws, with a bill that would see firms which do not store any coins excepted.

According to House Resolution 528, which aims “to provide a safe harbor from licensing and registration for certain non-controlling blockchain developers and providers of blockchain services,” would allow companies which use or trade cryptocurrencies but do not hold users’ coins to be exempted from money transmission laws if passed.

Recall that Emma introduced a similar bill last year with the 115th Congress. However, the two bills have key differences. This is to ensure its passage through the House – or at least give it a boost. The first is that unlike its previous iteration, the bill now has bipartisan support.

Representative Darren Soto, a Democrat, is now listed as a co-sponsor for the bill.

A spokesman for congress while speaking to CoinDesk, said noted that:

“This time around, this bill … will be referred to the Financial Services committee which Congressman Emmer sits on. We intend to see the House take up the measure.”

D.C. advocacy group Coin Center noted previously that:

“State money transmission licensing laws are broadly drafted and carry harsh penalties for failure to comply.”

The key issue is that “only custodians present a risk of loss. That would be sensibly addressed through licensing,” the group wrote at the time.

Through a spokesperson, Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito told:

“Even though the Hill is focused on other priorities at the moment,” adding: “We worked closely with Rep. Emmer and his staff to develop this bill last year and we’re very happy to see it reintroduced in this new Congress with bipartisan support.”

According to congress.gov, the bill has been referred to the Judiciary committee as well as the Financial Services committee, and each group will consider the provisions of the bill relevant to their mandates.

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