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US Senate votes to overturn SEC rule, allowing regulated firms to hold Bitcoin

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US Senate votes to overturn SEC rule, allowing regulated firms to hold Bitcoin
  • 60-38 in the Senate voted in favour of overturning the SEC rule.
  • Bipartisan support signals a potential shift in crypto regulation.
  • Presidential veto possible.

In a landmark decision, the US Senate has voted to overturn a key Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule that barred regulated financial firms from holding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The legislation, known as H.J. Res. 109, previously passed in the US House with bipartisan support and the Senate’s support signals a potential shift in the regulatory landscape for digital assets in the United States.

Bipartisan support for H.J. Res. 109 reversal

The decision to overturn the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) No. 121 garnered significant bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.

The rule, which had been in effect for two years, prohibited regulated financial institutions from holding cryptocurrencies.

However, lawmakers have moved to invalidate this restrictive regulation with a vote of 60-38 in the Senate and a 228–182 vote in the House.

Supporters of the legislation argue that allowing regulated firms to hold cryptocurrencies will provide consumers with more options and opportunities in the rapidly evolving digital asset market. They contend that regulated institutions are well-equipped to handle the risks associated with cryptocurrency custody, given their existing compliance frameworks and security protocols.

Potential presidential veto

After the overwhelming support for overturning the SEC rule in Congress, the legislation now faces its final test on the desk of US President Joe Biden.

While the White House has indicated that the measure may be vetoed, citing concerns about disrupting the SEC’s work to protect investors in crypto-asset markets, proponents remain hopeful that Biden will recognize the importance of allowing regulated firms to engage in cryptocurrency custody.

Critics of the SEC’s rule argue that it stifles innovation and hampers the ability of financial institutions to meet the growing demand for cryptocurrency services. They point to the recent approval of spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) by the SEC as evidence of the increasing mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies and the need for regulatory flexibility in this rapidly evolving space.

Senate decision met with enthusiasm

The decision to overturn the SEC rule has been met with enthusiasm by industry stakeholders, who see it as a positive step towards greater institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies. Many believe that allowing regulated financial firms to hold cryptocurrencies will help to legitimize the asset class and attract more institutional investors.

However, some industry experts caution that regulatory clarity is still needed to ensure the long-term stability and growth of the cryptocurrency market. They emphasize the importance of striking a balance between innovation and investor protection to foster a healthy and sustainable ecosystem for digital assets.



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