A Changing Tide. But Not Really.
I almost titled this post, "An Open Love Letter to Rep. Darren Soto" but I thought that might be weird. I landed on [whatever it is] because it has recently occurred to me that there may be significant legislation around blockchain coming out of Congress this session. Rep. Soto (FL-09) has been one of blockchain's biggest champions on Capitol Hill and I expect that will continue to be the case. In anticipation of "big things blockin," I thought I'd revisit two blockchain bills that made it out of the House of Representatives during the last congressional session. Given the change in the make-up of the Senate, maybe we'll see them again. But maybe we won't need to see them again....? Stay tuned.
The first of the two bills was the Blockchain Innovation Act.
This legislation sought to have the Department of Commerce and Federal Trade Commission study the use of blockchain technology in commerce and assess its fraud and security risks and benefits. This study would also give these federal agencies the opportunity to provide input and recommendations to Congress before it passed any comprehensive legislation with significant regulatory impacts.
The second bill was the Digital Taxonomy Act which would require the Federal Trade Commission to submit a recommendations to Congress on unfair and deceptive practices when it comes to digital currency/tokens. If you recall from the crypto boom of 2017, many ordinary, everyday (i.e., not rich) people lost a lot of money in crypto/token schemes. The Federal Trade Commission, whose mission is largely centered on consumer protection, would essentially be able to help shape the legislation that it would ultimately be responsible for implementing.
Any legislation that makes it out of either chamber of Congress is helpful when it comes to destigmatizing blockchain. But the failure of these two bills to make it out of the Senate is likely inconsequential. Agencies that touch defense, finance, technology, procurement, health care, and many other sectors are already chewing on how blockchain is changing the landscape and how existing regulations and legislation apply. Many federal agencies are also already trying to figure out how blockchain can improve the efficiency and security of their internal operations. So the passage of these bills in the House was largely symbolic. But, "A symbolic victory is still a victory."
What big blockchain legislation would you like to see come out of the 117th Congress? What big blockchain legislation do we need to see come out of the 117th Congress?