Congress considers crypto legislation: What you need to know

Jun 20, 2022, 6:15 PM | Updated: 8:16 pm

MIDVALE, Utah — One word can describe the year, so far, for cryptocurrencies — ugly. After reaching record heights this past November, crypto has lost $2 trillion of its market value. Many experts chalk the mass sell-off to investors, fearing a recession, switching to less risky assets. Now, Congress is mulling over the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, a proposed groundwork for regulating cryptocurrencies.

“It’ll help investors to understand the risks, hopefully,” said freelance writer Brian Nibley.

While Nibley is not a financial advisor, he has covered cryptocurrencies for years. He said one thing the new bill does is it sets legal definitions for key words such as digital asset, smart contract, virtual currency, and others.

“It does provide a lot of clarification, particularly for institutional investors who have just been waiting for this for a long time,” he said.

The bill also defines most cryptocurrencies as commodities instead of securities. Nibley said that is important because it determines what agency will be largely responsible for regulating crypto.

“A commodity would be regulated under the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), securities regulated under the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission).”

And that is a big sticking point for the bill’s critics. They argue the CFTC is just too small. It does not have anywhere near the clout and ability as the SEC to fight cryptocurrency fraud, they say. But crypto insiders argue the commodity designation opens the door to faster growth.

“It’s not really regulation in the sense of clamping down on anything or stifling innovation or anything like that,” Nibley said of the bill.

The legislation also includes a tax benefit that could help businesses, like Bernie and Brothers Barbershop, that take crypto.

“I think it will be pretty commonplace at some point,” owner Bernie Hiatt said about cryptocurrency adoption.

When KSL met her last year, we were only her second customer to pay in bitcoin. In the new bill, buying goods or services under $200 with crypto would no longer require filing a report to the IRS. That makes buying stuff like a haircut with bitcoin, easier.

“She may have a few more customers if this passes,” Nibley said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

A rendering of a cell site simulator. (KSL TV)...
Daniella Rivera and Annie Knox

Utah placed limits on police use of spy tech; Do they go far enough?  

For months, the KSL Investigators have been asking questions about spy technology law enforcement uses but doesn’t want to talk about. What exactly does the high-tech tool do, and what happens to your information if it gets caught up in a digital dragnet?
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO - Shown are a smartphone and computer....
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Why you should stop using your work computers, phones for personal use

Many Utahns are still working from home, spending a lot of time on their work computers. That can make it easy to forget it's not a personal computer. But KSL's Matt Gephardt has three reasons why you should use your work computers for one thing — work.
2 days ago
fireworks injuries study...
Matt Gephardt

Study: More people need E.R. care after playing with fireworks

A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission may throw a wet blanket on your 4th of July plans – or at least make you think about bringing a wet blanket with you just in case your family’s celebration adds to a troubling trend.
4 days ago
Peter Ingle talking to Matt Gephardt...
Matt Gephardt & Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Too risky to insure? Why your homeowner’s insurance could go up in smoke

There are good reasons for an insurance company to drop your homeowner’s coverage. But what happens when you’re dropped for something you have no control over? KSL Investigator Matt Gephardt went out to find: can they do that?
5 days ago
FILE - Thousand gather at the Utah State Capitol to support a woman's right to choose. (KSL TV)...
Daniella Rivera

‘It was hastily passed’: Medical, legal experts raise concerns about Utah’s abortion trigger law

Senate Bill 174, passed by the Utah Legislature in 2020, was crafted, in part, to send a message. Now, medical and legal experts are sounding alarm bells about how it will work in practice.
8 days ago
FILE - Credit and deposit cards on a computer keyboard. Electronic commerce, business. Online shopp...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Americans shy away from using credit cards abroad, missing out on best exchange rates

As COVID-19 wanes, travel agencies are seeing a massive spike in bookings as folks look to spread their wings and travel abroad.
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Congress considers crypto legislation: What you need to know