It would appear that a draft bill intending to limit “Big Tech’s” entry into finance and crypto has surfaced online. This leak is reportedly from the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. What’s more, this comes just days ahead of Facebook’s Libra hearings.
Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act could prevent tech firms from establishing cryptos
Specifically, this draft bill – the “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance” Act – can be found on Scribd. Its overarching goal is supposedly to “prohibit large platform utilities from being a financial institution or being affiliated with a person that is a financial institution, and for other purposes”.
Although it is unclear exactly when, or if, this draft bill will surface in the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, it clearly takes aim at cryptocurrencies.
The legitimacy of the document is currently unclear – however, the crypto news site The Block has quoted an inside source reportedly lending the draft bill some credence. According to The Block, the House Financial Services Committee staff is supposedly floating the bill.
The draft bill focuses on “large platform utilities”, with a large platform utility being a tech firm with annual global revenue over $25 billion. The document clearly intends to limit the possibility of tech companies potentially adopting cryptocurrencies.
“A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.”
This leak comes as Libra will soon face vital hearings
Notably, this comes as Facebook’s crypto, Libra, will soon see congressional hearings. Libra will face a hearing with the Senate Banking Committee on July 16th. It will also face discussion by the House Financial Services Committee on July 17th.
Libra has already attracted its fair share of criticisms from varying persons. Trump recently tweeted a harsh criticism of Bitcoin and Libra, and Rep. Maxine Waters said development of Libra should stop.
Nevertheless, if this draft bill becomes a reality, that would be another issue altogether. This act could severely impair, or outright prohibit, tech companies from developing digital assets – i.e. cryptocurrencies.
As alway, it remains to see what comes of this leaked draft bill. However, it is not unthinkable lawmakers released it ahead of the important Libra hearings slated for next week.
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.