What we can do about the infrastructure bill’s crypto provision

What we can do about the infrastructure bill’s crypto provision

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill includes a provision that could threaten innovation in the U.S. crypto industry. Learn how you can join Okcoin’s efforts to make a difference.

TL;DR

  • The existing provision would likely jeopardize Americans’ privacy and threaten jobs and innovation in the U.S. crypto industry.
  • We’re supporting the education work of crypto policy non-profit CoinCenter with a $10,000 donation.
  • We’re joining 100 other blockchain companies and The Blockchain Association in calling the Majority and Minority Leaders to adopt a more thoroughly researched crypto amendment.
  • The amendment would require at least 60 votes in the Senate, and the vote is likely to happen tomorrow, August 6 or Saturday, August 7. 
  • We encourage you to call your senators to let them know you support the amendment proposed by Senators Wyden, Toomey, and Lummis.


Call your representatives

What is the infrastructure bill’s crypto provision?

The U.S. government is currently trying to pass a package of bills called the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act or the “INVEST in America Act”, H. R. 3684. The aim of the bill is to help develop U.S. infrastructure, but a provision applicable to the crypto industry has been added into it as a mechanism to raise taxes. There are a few things to know about this bill and its crypto provision:

  • It’s 2,700 pages long and proposes a spend of about $1.2 trillion. The bill is President Biden’s biggest 2021 legislative goal and is therefore what some call a “must-pass” bill.
  • The bill is focused on investments towards infrastructure and jobs but a provision about tax and legal requirements for the crypto industry was added into it at the last minute.
  • The provision expands the definition of a “broker” to include people who aren’t brokers like miners, wallet providers, and node operators.

Why is the crypto provision so controversial?

The crypto provision has been rejected publicly by just about every person and organization in the crypto space. Here are few reasons why:

  • Crypto is a highly complex industry and requires thoughtful regulatory discussion – most actors in the space believe such a provision shouldn’t be part of a must-pass bill in the first place.
  • The collection of personal information for many unregulated crypto companies  (such as miners and non-custodial wallets developers) is technically impossible. Putting this burden on them could stifle innovation in the industry.
  • Properly identifying the types of companies that should be regulated in the crypto industry should be a separate consideration from raising taxes.
  • A better approach is contained in the amendment proposed both by Republican and Democratic senators (Wyden-Lummis-Toomey), which narrows the bill’s definition of a “broker” to exclude miners, stakers, software developers, and hardware sellers.

Okcoin is one of the largest U.S. licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, serving over 185 countries. We already comply with all applicable regulatory and tax reporting requirements, but we rely on the health and innovation of the crypto industry to bring unique new products and features to our customers. That’s why we support this amendment and will continue supporting researched legislation like it.

What can we do about it?

We have taken steps to protect crypto innovation in the U.S. Here’s what we’re doing and how you can help:

  • We’re supporting the education work of crypto policy nonprofit CoinCenter with a $10,000 donation.
  • We’re joining The Blockchain Association and more than 100 blockchain companies and stakeholders in calling Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell to adopt the Wyden-Lummis-Toomey amendment.
  • We encourage you to call your representatives to let them know you support this amendment too.
  • We need to act quickly: The amendment would require at least 60 votes in the Senate, and the vote could happen as early as tomorrow, August 6 or Saturday, August 7.


Call your representatives

Call 517-200-9518 and you’ll be automatically connected to your senator. Here’s what you can tell them: 

“Hi, I’m calling to ask that you support Senator Toomey, Wyden and Lummis’ amendment to the cryptocurrency provision of the infrastructure bill (H.R. 3684). Toomey’s amendment will ensure that the provision does not dramatically expand financial surveillance and harm innovation. Policies that impact basic freedom and the future of the Internet should be debated carefully and should never be attached to must-pass bills. Thank you.”