Ohio Congressman Introduces Bill Protecting Crypto Use & Wallet Access

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A U.S. Congressman has introduced a bill seeking to prevent any agency limitation of cryptocurrency usage, or transactions through personal wallets.

Blockchain Caucus-member Republican Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio introduced the bill on February 15. The bill proposes to prevent any agency head from inhibiting “the ability of a covered user to use virtual currency or its equivalent for such user’s own purposes.” These include purchasing “real or virtual goods and services for the user’s own use,” in addition to conducting transactions “through an [sic] self-hosted wallet.”

Self-custody had come under fire during the final days of the U.S. Treasury Department under then-Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. The controversial wallet monitoring rule would have imposed limitations on crypto exchanges by requiring them to collect personal details, including names and home addresses, from users wanting to transact with private wallets.

While it has ultimately gone dormant under Janet Yellen’s Treasury, the prospect of its potential return remains an issue for Davidson. “I would be concerned about it returning until it’s protected,” he said. Personally, he believes in individuals’ independent operation of crypto, adding that, “people should run their own nodes and have self-custody over some portion of their digital assets.”

Crypto in the House

Last year, the U.S. Congress introduced 35 bills related to crypto, mostly related to general regulation, blockchain applications, and consumer protection. The most notable among them being the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act, while also including the Consumer Safety Technology Act, the Blockchain Innovation Act, and the Digital Taxonomy Act.

Meanwhile last month, Minnesota Congressman Tom Emmer introduced a bill prohibiting the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to individuals. He believes they lack fundamental protections, which “enable an entity like the Federal Reserve to mobilize itself into a retail bank, collect personally identifiable information on users, and track their transactions indefinitely.”

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