On June 7, 2022, Sens. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., introduced the Responsible Financial Innovation Act (RFIA), the first comprehensive legislative proposal to create a regulatory framework for digital assets in the United States. Specifically, the RFIA consists of 70 pages of proposed legislation that touches on tax, securities, commodities, consumer protection, payments, and banking laws and provides guidance on how federal agencies should interact with one another when considering digital assets. Further, the RFIA provides rules that allow for the issuance of payment stablecoins.
Sens. Lummis and Gillibrand say the purpose of the legislation is to “encourage[ ] responsible financial innovation, flexibility, transparency and robust consumer protections while integrating digital assets into existing law.” Many analysts believe that this legislation will set the tone for how Congress writes the rules for digital assets in the coming years. It will likely be significantly amended before ever becoming law, and the prospects for any digital asset-related legislation becoming law during this Congress are remote. Although portions of the RFIA may provide a roadmap for regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to consider implementing in the near term.
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