UPDATED: Committee mark-up with fintech protection bill postponed

A hearing previously scheduled for June 27, addressing a fintech protection bill and other measures, has been postponed “to a date and time to be announced later,” the House Financial Services Committee said late Monday.

The above-noted legislation would create a special task force to address threats of terrorist and other illicit use of new financial technologies (fintech). Titled the Financial Technology Protection Act (H.R. 5036) and introduced by Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), the bill would establish an Independent Financial Technology Task Force with the goal of improving coordination between the private and public sectors to research and develop legislative and regulatory proposals to decrease terrorist and illicit use of new financial technologies, including digital currencies. The panel would provide yearly reports to Congress on its proposals.

The task force, to be headed by the Treasury secretary, would also include the U.S. attorney general and the heads of the CIA, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Secret Service and FBI. Six private-sector representatives, appointed by the Treasury secretary, would also be included. These could be representatives from the banking industry, nonprofit groups and think tanks; however, one of the six private-sector posts would be reserved for someone with experience in the fintech industry.

The bill calls for creation of a fund, not exceeding $450,000, to pay a reward “to any person who provides information leading to the conviction of an individual involved with terrorist use of digital currencies.” It also establishes a FinTech Leadership in Innovation Program involving grants for the development of tools and programs to detect terrorist and illicit use of digital currencies. Projects given preference would be those utilizing: technology that is nonproprietary or community commons-based; computer code developed and released on a open source basis; tools that are proactive (such as meeting “know your customer” and other anti-money laundering rules) rather than reactive; and tools and incentives that are on decentralized platforms.

Notice of House Financial Services Committee June 27 mark-up

Text of the Financial Technology Protection Act (H.R. 5036)

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