The Blockchain Association’s Kristin Smith breaks down what’s next in Washington’s bitcoin policy fight

Aug 11, 2021 | The Block News | 0 comments

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A high-wire fight in Washington, DC over crypto tax reporting provisions included in a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill drew widespread attention and impassioned remarks from supporters, opponents and powerful members of Congress.

And while Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association, admits that the legislation’s current language is not perfect, the collective show of force from advocacy groups, business leaders and think tanks was “like no other thing I have experienced in my 20 years in Washington, D.C.”

On this episode of The Scoop, Smith joined host Frank Chaparro and senior reporter Kollen Post to discuss the legislation live during the podcast as senators conducted their last vote before sending the bill out of the chamber. 

According to Smith, the fight over the crypto tax reporting requirements — which opponents say puts undue burdens on businesses that aren’t clearly defined as “brokers” of digital assets and at one point risked choosing technological winners and losers — is far from over. 

“What we’re going to be doing in the sort of days and weeks ahead is trying to figure out how best to show that there is a groundswell of support for changing this language,” Smith remarked. 

Next up: pushing for positive changes before the legislation becomes U.S. law.

“We will be there and we will have amendments and we’re putting our lobbying team together,” said Smith, who added: “We do have a lot of time to work to undo this.”

In the end, Smith concedes that there ultimately may not be an opportunity to add amendments to the bill. However, the fight put the crypto industry front-and-center in Washington for the first time, with Smith saying: “We went from zero to 60 overnight, and we have caught the attention of the entire policymaking class in Washington.”

The bill now makes its move into the House which will reconvene in September for next steps.

This episode of The Scoop also focused on:

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s position on crypto
  • The players in the DC crypto scene today
  • Which policymakers and politicians favor amendments to the bill.

© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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