Dec 20, 2018

Representatives introduce new cryptocurrency bill

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Reps. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) and Darren Soto (D-Fla.) have introduced a new House bill that would clarify laws governing initial coin offerings and change how cryptocurrencies are taxed.

Why it matters: Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin function partly as currency and partly as investment, creating all sorts of regulatory uncertainties that the industry has long hoped to get clarified. But the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been slow to lay out rules, instead communicating its interpretation of securities law via enforcement actions.

Among the changes that the bill includes:

  • Revise the definition of "security" in the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to exclude digital tokens that are "not a representation of a financial interest in a company, including an ownership or debt interest or revenue share."
  • A tax exemption for using cryptocurrencies to purchase goods and services for under $600. This way, if a person uses Bitcoin, for example, to purchase a cup of coffee and the price of the cryptocurrency has gone up since they purchased it, they won't have to pay capital gains tax on the transaction.

In September, Davidson hosted a roundtable about initial coin offerings with a number of representatives from industry players.

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DMV area issues coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states and territory are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 min ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
  5. World updates: Italy reports 1,590 recoveries from the virus, its highest ever.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.