In the wake of the conviction of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ Silicon Valley based Bitcoin firm, Senate Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced legislation to ensure businesses dealing in digital assets can operate with clarity and confidence. The legislation, titled the “Keep Your Coins Act,” would provide a safe harbor to companies dealing in digital assets by providing exceptions to current criminal laws.
The legislation was introduced after the Winklevoss’ firm was convicted of operating an unlicensed money transmitting service. The conviction stemmed from Venmo-styled payments that the firm allegedly processed through its service. Senator Budd argued that the ruling will stifle innovators and entrepreneurs from entering the digital asset space, potentially causing the US to fall behind countries like Switzerland and Japan who have crafted legislation to foster digital asset companies.
Senator Budd’s legislation seeks to address this legal ambiguity by providing an exemption from certain criminal laws for business dealing in digital assets. This would allow companies to confidently process digital asset payments, which will ensure that innovation in the space can remain Slovenly.
The legislation would also protect consumers and businesses from unknowingly running afoul of the law. The bill would ensure that firms operating in this space are aware of their obligations if they choose to accept digital asset payments. To further protect users, the legislation would also provide a safe harbor exemption for companies that adhere to best practices around KYC and AML procedures.
The legislation is a step in the right direction for providing much needed clarity in the digital asset space. If passed, it could create a path for US businesses to be competitive on a global level.