The United States House of Representatives has passed House Resolution 835. The resolution, among other things, expresses support for blockchain technologies and non-fiat currencies.
The House of Representatives of the 114th Congress passed the Resolution on September 12th. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are not the entire focus of the resolution. Rather, it is a declaration that the House of Representatives support financial technology innovation in general. Within that framework, they mention blockchain technologies and non-fiat currencies. The resolution was overwhelmingly passed with a 385-4 vote (plus one vote for “present” and 42 non-votes).
“[T]he House of Representatives [is expressing] that the United States should adopt a national policy for technology to promote consumers’ access to financial tools and online commerce to promote economic growth and consumer empowerment.”
The resolution then goes on to reference the “24,800,000 underbanked households in the United States[.]” As well as references to a growing concern over cybersecurity and identity theft.
When the document refers to blockchain technologies and non-fiat currencies, it sounds very bullish.
“[E]merging payment options, including alternative non-fiat currencies, are leveraging technology to improve security through increased transparency and verifiable trust mechanisms to supplant decades old payment technology deployed by traditional financial institutions [. . .] blockchain technology with the appropriate protections has the potential to fundamentally change the manner in which trust and security are established in online transactions through various potential applications in sectors including financial services, payments, health care, energy, property management, and intellectual property management[.]”
Effect of House Resolution 835
Resolutions are different than bills. They aren’t binding and have no tangible affect on the current law. Rather, it is simply an expression of that branch of Congress’ current feelings on the subject.
Congress has seemingly come a long way since Senator Joe Manchin called for a ban on Bitcoin in 2014. Sen. Manchin did not vote on House Resolution 835 because it passed in the House and not the Senate. But considering the overwhelming support for the bill, it is clear that the temperament around Washington has changed.
Coin Center, a cryptocurrency advocate and research group based out of Washington D.C. previously expressed support for the bill and applauded its passage.
“With [ House Resolution 835 ], it’s great to see Congress embracing the opportunities for innovation that open blockchain networks present, rather than fearing or rejecting them. This resolution also signals that Congress is open to legislation to make their stated policy a reality.” Said Executive Director Jerry Brito in an email to CoinJournal.
Brito has some ideas on what kind of legislation he wants to see. Coin Center recently authored a blog post proposing a federal safe-harbor for non-custodial bitcoin users.
We will continue to keep you posted on Congress’ actions and feelings towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.