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On June 7, 2022, U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and
Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced the Responsible Financial
Innovation Act (the “Bill”), which proposes a regulatory
framework for digital assets across nine titles calling for
“Responsible” activity in taxation, consumer protection,
and securities, commodities, payments, and banking innovation. The
proposed legislation is a comprehensive attempt to bring stability
to a rapidly growing and often volatile industry.
If passed, it would affect the federal regulatory landscape in a
way not seen since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform
and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. The Bill seeks to amend
bedrock federal statutes, including, without limitation, the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Commodity Exchange Act, in
order to clarify regulatory roles for the Securities and Exchange
Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and
solicits reports and rulemaking from those agencies and numerous
others. Although it is unlikely that the Bill will be passed in its
current form or in the current Congress, it is a first step to the
development of bipartisan legislation on this important topic.
In this White Paper, we discuss the Bill’s most
significant implications, such as its attempt to resolve important
questions concerning the legal status of digital assets, and
allocation of regulatory authority.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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