U.S. lawmakers establish CLARITY Act to shutdown federal ties to Chinese blockchain

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U.S. Representatives Zach Nunn and Abigail Spanberger have introduced the CLARITY Act of 2023, a bill aimed at prohibiting federal officials from transacting with Chinese blockchain companies to safeguard national security interests.

In a bipartisan initiative, Representatives Zach Nunn and Abigail Spanberger introduced the Creating Legal Accountability for Rogue Innovators and Technology Act of 2023, commonly known as the CLARITY Act.

This proposed legislation targets a very contemporary issue: The engagement between U.S. federal officials and Chinese blockchain entities. If enacted, the act will unequivocally prohibit federal government employees from using Chinese blockchain networks and from transacting with certain Chinese companies, including iFinex—the parent company of Tether, a well-known cryptocurrency stablecoin issuer.

The ban extends to interactions to the Spartan Network, the Conflux Network and Red Date Technology, highlighting the legislation’s comprehensive scope. The rationale behind the act is rooted in national security concerns, with an emphasis on preventing potential adversaries from accessing sensitive United States intelligence and private data.

The CLARITY Act emerges in the wake of revelations about Tether’s financial entanglements with Chinese firms. Recent reports have pointed out that Tether’s reserves included securities from state-owned Chinese enterprises and substantial loans to Chinese companies.

The disclosure of these connections, which Tether had not previously acknowledged, especially regarding the debt of other Chinese firms, adds layers of complexity to the discussions about the assets that back its stablecoin.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is also keeping a watchful eye on Tether’s activities. Notably, there have been allegations that Tether privately provided loans in its USDT stablecoin, contradicting earlier assurances to the contrary.

With the introduction of the CLARITY Act, lawmakers are signaling a stringent stance on the intersection of cryptocurrency and national security, reflecting Washington D.C.’s intensified scrutiny over the influence of Chinese companies in the crypto sector.

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