Cryptocurrencies have been rapidly growing in acceptance over the past few years, and nowadays investors from all walks of life are buying bitcoins, ethers and other popular digital currencies. However, it seems that cryptocurrencies could be taking a major step towards becoming more mainstream, at least if several US Congress members get their way. Rumors have been circulating that at least several Republican senators and representatives are drafting a bill that would pave the way for cryptocurrencies to become more mainstream while also helping to prevent digital currencies from being used for money laundering and criminal purposes.
According to reports, the main goals of the new cryptocurrency legislation are to prevent federal government interference with digital currencies, make digital currency transactions exempt from taxation and to prevent cryptocurrencies from being viewed as a form of investment or security. The issue of government interference in digital currency is one that is particularly relevant right now.
Earlier this year in May, lawmakers attempted to add a provision to the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017, which would require any person that possesses more than $10,000 in digital currency to declare this when going through US Customs. This threatens to create numerous issues due to the fact that cryptocurrencies are technically considered to be always in someone’s possession, which means that the government could essentially tax anyone entering the country that owns more than $10,000 worth of any cryptocurrency.
The criminal element of digital currency is another huge issue, and one that many experts believe needs to be solved before cryptocurrencies can truly become mainstream. The high level of anonymity provided by cryptocurrency transactions makes it extremely easy for these currencies to be used for money laundering, and it already seems that many organized criminal groups are using Bitcoin and other digital currencies to facilitate their nefarious activities.
As the new legislation has yet to be released, there is no word as of yet about how lawmakers will attempt to prevent criminal activities from being used for criminal purposes. Similarly, there is no evidence yet on what type of protections will be afforded to cryptocurrencies or which currencies will qualify for this government protection. However, sources have said that digital currencies will need to meet a set of specific minimum requirements in order to qualify for government protections. Luckily, it doesn’t seem that we will have to wait all that long to see what the new legislation might look like, as sources have suggested that the bill will be presented to congress sometime during September.