Top 5 Policy Priorities at the Chamber

As the old saying goes “blockchain never sleeps.” It’s the Chamber’s mission to promote the acceptance and use of digital assets and blockchain-based technologies. We do this tirelessly through education, advocacy and working closely with policymakers, regulatory agencies and industry.  Following are the top five priorities that keep the Chamber team up at night:

  • Accounting: Ever heard of counting sheep? How about counting virtual currencies. An increase in virtual currency-related transactions makes the development of accounting guidance surrounding recognition and disclosure of virtual currencies and related transactions all the more important. The Chamber believes that the Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) should address the accounting standards for digital currencies.
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Finance: Like any industry and any currency, virtual currency and blockchain technology can be used for incredibly important purposes. However, in some cases, they’re used to engage in unlawful activity. The Chamber believes in modernizing U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) laws. We’ve also co-founded the Blockchain Alliance, to facilitate a dialogue and collaborative resource among law enforcement and the blockchain industry.
  • Smart Contracts: Blockchain-based computer codes can simplify the way we conduct business, pay bills and ratify contracts, for example. We at the Chamber are working to promote the use of smart contracts in educating legislators that existing U.S. law – the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“ESIGN Act”) and the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (“UETA”) — already provide sufficient legal basis for smart contracts executing terms of a legal contract.
  • Tax:  From paying a simple bill, purchasing a flight or consumer goods, virtual currencies are becoming more commonly used. However, in 2014, the IRS decided it would treat convertible virtual currency the same as it does property. That means, every simple transaction you make is subject to capital gain/loss and investment income tax treatment (cumbersome reporting requirements included!). This treatment hinders the use of virtual currencies as a method of payment, which in turn, prevents their ability to reach a wide spectrum of potential participants in the financial system. The Chamber supports policies that treat virtual currencies fairly – as an alternative currency rather than as a capital gain or investment income tax.

 

  • Tokens: Tokens offer an incredible expansion of the way we think of assets by digitizing those assets and offering ways to transfer them in a secure and efficient way. Token sales, also referred to as “Initial Coin Offerings” (ICOs), can raise capital for new companies, or other prospective users a means of participating on a platform. In 2018 alone, there have been more than 270 token sales raising more than $5.7 billion. The Chamber supports policies that protect purchasers and facilitate appropriate disclosures, while promoting innovation through token issuances.