This week, bipartisan members of Congress wrote to Director of the National Economic Council Lawrence Kudlow requesting that the Trump administration, “hold a forum on blockchain technology” and include it under initiatives the White House intends to promote on emerging technologies.
The letter is was touted as the first step in making blockchain technology, and the innovation and the economic benefits that come with the technology, a national priority. It was led by Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.) and supported by members of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, including Darren Soto (D-Fla.), Bill Foster (D-Ill.), Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), and David Schweikert (R-Ariz.).
Among those praising the effort was the Chamber of Digital Commerce, which said it “was happy to work with Congressman Hollingsworth and his staff to bring life to his vision to support blockchain technology on a national level.”
“We view the letter as a key component of the Chamber’s National Action Plan for Blockchain, which calls on the U.S. Government to make support of blockchain technology a priority,” it added.
Specifically, the letter: urges the U.S. Government to publicly support the development of blockchain technology in the United States; and provides a set of guiding principles for government as it considers how best to support blockchain technology, including that industry must lead innovation.
“Innovation is part of this country’s DNA and our efforts to further develop blockchain technology can help our country remain a leader in invention and modernization,” Hollingsworth said in a statement. “I am encouraged by the Administration’s efforts to explore financial technology and artificial intelligence and I look forward to working together as the technology evolves.”
“Blockchain has the profound potential to benefit society and be a driver of economic growth,” added Soto, a member of the House Energy and commerce subcommittee on communications and technology. “It is crucial we continue to be informed on new initiatives and educate Congress and other government agencies on the impact of these emerging technologies. I’m proud to take bipartisan action in promoting blockchain.”
The letter to Kudlow reads:
“We write to request the Administration, through the National Economic Council, hold a forum on blockchain technology and include blockchain technology in the initiatives the Administration intends to promote on emerging technologies.
“Blockchain technology is an example of digital innovation that has the potential to transform a myriad of industries through its ability to improve the transparency, efficiency, and security of transactions and information in the financial services, healthcare, insurance, trade finance, and supply chain management sectors, among many others.
“Government agencies within the United States are exploring blockchain technology in multiple ways. More can be done, however, to coordinate support for this technology in the United States. Laws dating back decades are proving difficult to apply to emerging technologies, and a lack of regulatory clarity may be dampening investment. To continue its standing as a world leader in technological innovation, the U.S. should engage with policymakers, the private sector, and academia to promote the research and development of blockchain technology; explore its benefits for private and public use; collaborate on cross-sectoral policy, standard-setting, scalability, and implementation issues; and discuss potential regulatory approaches.
“Since blockchain technologies are still emerging, it is critical that we support these advancements by connecting all the relevant stakeholders to examine the policy issues facing the industry and building support for a shared vision that can boost innovation and ensure that we reap the full benefits of its development. As such, we strongly urge the Administration and the National Economic Council to convene a forum for stakeholder input and support this emerging technology through its inclusion in its efforts to promote ‘investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future.’ ”
The current regulatory environment is stifling innovation in the United States and this letter will help spark an important national conversation about these issues, the Digital Chamber of Commerce suggested in response to the letter.
“Moreover, the U.S. Government is currently supporting key technological advances in 5G, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. Blockchain technology is widely recognized to have similar transformational potential and must be developed and promoted as a key technology that will fuel cutting-edge industries of the future,” it added.