Johnson & Conaway Lead Introduction of Digital Commodity Legislation

September 24, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C — Today, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway and Rep. Dusty Johnson (SD)  introduced the Digital Commodity Exchange Act of 2020, legislation that creates a single, opt-in national regulatory framework for digital commodity trading platforms under the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). 

Cosponsors of the Digital Commodity Exchange Act (DCEA) include Congressmen Tom Emmer (MN-06), David Schweikert (AZ-06), Austin Scott (GA-08), and Darren Soto (FL-09). The text of the bill can be found here, a summary of the bill here, and Rep. Conaway's statement here. Here's what supporters are saying:

House Agriculture Committee Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Subcommittee Ranking Member Dusty Johnson (SD-AL): "America is an innovative nation. That innovation often outpaces the federal regulatory environment. The Digital Commodity Exchange Act ensures Americans can have confidence in emerging financial tools. This bill offers necessary protections without stifling the creativity of new market commodity tokens.”

House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway: “The Digital Commodity Exchange Act (DCEA) provides a clear path forward to improve the regulation of digital commodities. Digital commodity trading platforms are currently required to comply with a complicated labyrinth of 53 state and territory regulatory frameworks, hindering the ability for newcomers to enter the market. The DCEA provides responsible federal oversight of trading platforms and critical consumer protections, while also paving the way for innovators to develop new digital commodity projects. I’m excited by the support this bipartisan legislation has received in Congress and from those in the industry. I look forward to developing a legal framework and providing clarity for fintech innovators and strong protections for users of digital commodities.”

Blockchain Caucus Co-Chair, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06): “We must ensure our laws and regulations are clear to give digital markets the clarity needed to protect consumers while ensuring further innovation can take place. This bill is a great step in the right direction for continuing to update and future-proof our federal policy, and I am pleased to join my colleagues in working to strengthen our regulation framework and fill the regulatory gaps that currently exist.”

House Agriculture Committee Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Subcommittee Ranking Member Austin Scott (GA-08): “I appreciate Ranking Member Conaway for his leadership on this legislation which will help us better understand emerging technologies like blockchain, and his continued focus to promote public policy that fosters, rather than inhibits, growth of FinTech in the United States.” 

Blockchain Caucus Co-Chair, Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09): "Regulatory clarity is critical for digital commodity markets to promote innovation and consumer protection. Innovators are spending up to fifty percent of start-up costs on legal fees because of the current regulatory ambiguity between what is a security and what is a commodity. That’s why the Digital Commodity Exchange Act will provide the necessary consumer protections, responsible federal oversight and regulatory clarity for all participating in digital commodity markets.”

Jerry Brito, Executive Director, Coin Center: "This bill is a win-win. Innovators and entrepreneurs get greater clarity and more regulatory options, while investors benefit from increased supervision of markets. We’re grateful for Mr. Conaway’s innovative thinking and leadership on this issue."

Kristin Smith, Executive Director, Blockchain Association: “We’re proud to support the introduction of the Digital Commodity Exchange Act and the Securities Clarity Act. Together, these efforts will help clarify outstanding issues related to when and how securities laws and commodities regulations apply to digital assets. Uncertainty over the application of these rules of the road continues to act as a strong headwind for the crypto ecosystem. These bills would do much to clarify the situation and put into law pro-growth policies for the crypto economy.”

Issues: