The US Senate is making positive progress on a crucial piece of legislation that will lay the ground for a regulatory framework for blockchain technology and how the government can benefit from the technology.
CNET reports that the United States Senate committee on commerce, science, and transportation on Tuesday passed the Blockchain Promotion Act. the bipartisan legislation will require the Department of Commerce to establish a blockchain working group to recommend a consensus-based definition of the technology.
The working group will also consider recommendations for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to undertake a study that would examine the potential impact of blockchain on spectrum policy and opportunities for the adoption of blockchain to promote efficiencies within the federal government.
The working group will draw its membership from federal agencies which can potentially use blockchain as well as non-governmental stakeholders. The non-governmental members will come from ICT manufacturers, service providers, suppliers, software developers and providers, and other experts.
Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts and one of the bill’s sponsors said that blockchain technology has lots of great potential and promise. He also indicated that the technology was already in use within the private sector to offer various services with much efficiency. He explained:
“This legislation will help further understand applications for this technology and explore opportunities for its use within the federal government.”
After establishment, the working group is expected to submit its report to Congress within a year.
The bill was brought back to Congress in February and enjoys a bipartisan sponsorship in the two chambers. The bill is expected to give guidelines on regulations of blockchain-based developments and prevent a patchwork of numerous definitions at the state level. Currently, there are numerous bills introduced at the state level regarding blockchain.
The lawmakers want to compel the government to use the technology to enhance service delivery and the working group will provide modalities on the same. The committee was told that the government can use the technology to eliminate bureaucracy, prevent tax fraud and lessen waste.
Rep. Doris Matsui, a Democrat from California who is also one of the bill’s sponsors said:
“This bipartisan, bicameral bill will bring a broad group of stakeholders together to develop a common definition of blockchain, and, perhaps even more importantly, recommend opportunities to leverage the technology to promote new innovations.”
Together with Rep. Brett Guthrie, a Republican from Kentucky, Matsui is sponsoring a similar bill in the House of Representatives while in the Senate, the bill is being sponsored by Sens. Markey and Todd Young, a Republican from Indiana.
In the recent past, the Congress has been keen on blockchain and cryptos and United States House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to have a hearing on Facebook’s upcoming crypto, Libra on July 17. Some lawmakers from across the divide have called on the government to rein on the cryptos until a formidable regulation to guide the industry.
Will the latest move help to make blockchain and cryptos more popular in the country. Let us know in the comments section.