U.S. lawmakers ask Treasury to clarify digital assets -Punchbowl News

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WASHINGTON, Jan 27 (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has asked the Treasury Department for "clarity to the digital asset ecosystem" after new related reporting requirements were included in last year's $1 trillion infrastructure law, Punchbowl News said on Thursday.

In a letter dated Wednesday, the group told Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that part of the bill was "ambiguous" because Treasury could interpret who within the digital asset ecosystem qualifies as a "broker" beyond what Congress intended, and urged against "a potentially expansive reading of the 'broker' definition."

"As nascent financial technologies develop, we must ensure requirements imposed on the digital asset ecosystem are both crafted and implemented in such a way to ensure the United States remains at the forefront of financial innovation," the lawmakers, including Representatives Patrick McHenry, a Republican, and Tim Ryan, a Democrat, wrote.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the report, which comes as the Biden administration is expected to unveil preliminary guidance regarding cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in coming days, according to Punchbowl.

Bloomberg News last week reported the administration was preparing to release its initial government-wide digital assets strategy as soon as February.

On Monday, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told CNBC new crypto related rules were coming soon.

Digital assets are run by private actors, and some bank officials have urged U.S. regulators to clarify what would be a regulated digital asset, including crypto.

U.S. regulators have been eyeing the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies over concerns it could put the financial system at risk if left unchecked. Top cryptocurrency company executives have urged against tough restrictions.

In November, U.S. President Joe Biden's administration reversed a Trump-era policy that gave banks permission to provide crypto custody services, with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency telling banks they need written permission from bank supervisors before engaging in cryptocurrency-related activities, including custody services. (Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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