Buried in the still-unreleased bipartisan infrastructure package is a sweeping crackdown on cryptocurrency transactions that could generate significant tax revenue for the government and major anxiety in a financial technology industry that thrived during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lawmakers want people facilitating trades in Bitcoin and other digital assets to be subject to reporting rules similar to those governing the sale of stocks and other securities: Brokers would be required to report things like how much people paid for cryptocurrencies.
The proposal is alarming many in the industry, who are expressing fear of being ambushed with a host of new rules they could be stuck with for years.
They see the new reporting requirements as potentially damaging the economic viability of cryptocurrency markets, which have seen a rapid expansion in new users during the pandemic.
Given how much new tax revenue could be at stake and the amount of progress that has been made on the bill, many doubt the language will be eliminated, so they are focused on efforts to make what they see as improvements.
Industry groups including the Blockchain Association, Coin Center and the Association for Digital Asset Markets outlined their opposition to the requirements