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Senator Rob Portman Defends Crypto Provision in US Infrastructure Bill

U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) has come out to defend a controversial crypto provision he slipped into a $1 trillion infrastructure bill currently being debated in the Senate.

The provision seeks to raise $28 billion from crypto businesses in the form of tax receipts by applying new information reporting requirements to exchanges and potentially other types of businesses.

Portman argues his “common-sense” provision will provide enhanced clarity and legitimacy for the crypto industry by standardizing information reporting by brokers to the Internal Revenue Service.

The controversy centers around the definition of the term “broker” as any person who provides a service “effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person.” Some argue this has wide-reaching implications and could extend to decentralized exchanges as well as crypto miners.

Decentralized exchanges were explicitly named in an earlier draft of the provision, though it was removed in the final version published late Sunday.

Portman has defended criticism over the legislation saying it does not intend to impose new reporting requirements on software developers, crypto miners, node operators, or other non-brokers.

“It simply says that brokers must comply with standard information reporting obligations. Which many already do,” the senator said.

There is bipartisan opposition to the provision however. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) are working on an amendment to modify the language, though how they intend to do so is not yet known.

The crypto provision was one of a handful of issues that have held up the 2,702-page infrastructure bill.

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