Bitcoin and cryptocurrency stocks were rallying ahead of a potential compromise on reporting requirements for digital assets in the Senate.
Bitcoin was up 5% to around $46,000, while Ethereum was ahead 4% to $3,150 Monday afternoon. The two largest cryptos have surged more than 20% over the past few days, pulling up other digital coins such as Cardano, Dogecoin, and XRP.
Crypto traders are buying coins and digital-asset stocks ahead of a vote in the Senate that will clarify reporting requirements on brokers and exchanges. Congress aims to raise $28 billion in revenue from crypto transactions to help pay for $550 billion in new infrastructure spending.
A compromise amendment on reporting requirements now appears to have been reached, according to a draft of the amendment obtained by Barron’s. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R., Wyo.) and Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) announced the deal with Democratic colleagues, forging a bipartisan coalition of key Senate negotiators.
“We’re not proposing anything sweeping or anything radical––[the compromise] makes clear that a broker means only those persons that conduct transactions where consumers buy, sell and trade digital assets,” Toomey said in a press conference, according to CoinDesk.
The language clarifies a broker as “any person who…regularly effectuates transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person” and specifically excludes miners, including those involved in “validating distributed ledger transactions,” as well as hardware or software developers that provide private keys for people to access their digital assets.
The compromise comes as a relief to the industry. Crypto advocates lobbied hard against the bill’s original language that didn’t carve out exemptions for miners. That could have swept up miners and software developers in new reporting requirements to the Internal Revenue Service, prompting an exodus of the industry to offshore locations.
Some crypto advocates have said Congress shouldn’t play favorites with reporting for some types of mining or software while leaving out others. Competing amendments would have excluded “proof of work” and “proof of stake” mining from the definition of a broker, but left the door open for reporting based on protocols, requiring miners to issue 1099 forms to crypto traders. That would have been unworkable for the industry, since miners don’t know their customers, by definition, and don’t broker transactions between two parties.
Moreover, the industry wanted to be sure that Congress didn’t favor one type of mining protocol, urging politicians to keep the language “technology-neutral.”
“Many types of blockchains exist today and we expect many new ones to be invented,” said Perianne Boring, founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a crypto-lobbying organization. Any legislation that regulates miners should be “technology-neutral,” she added.
Mining companies and others in the crypto industry were rallying on the news.
Marathon Digital Holdings
(ticker: MARA), a company that processes blockchain transactions, was ahead 5.5%, while another miner,
(RIOT), was soaring 10%. The
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust
(GBTC) was up 7%, and
(COIN) was ahead 6.6%.
Write to Daren Fonda at email@example.com