How The Congress Is Learning Blockchain


Image courtesy of FreedomWorks

Blockchain is shaking up the business world, and its possibilities have also reached the governing bodies. Countries all around the world are exploring how to regulate and use the distributed ledger technology.

In the last 15 months, the Congressional Blockchain Caucus has set out to explore relevant issues with relevant stakeholders and IBM. The thee roundtables have discussed three topics most related to governing, legislation, and blockchain: digital identity, payments and supply chain, and government, as reported on govcyberinsider.

During these meetings, they addressed key issues and the role of the government in blockchain: whether it comes to collaboration with businesses, supporting research, or driving innovation in implementing blockchain.

Their insights and key takeaways have been recently published in the report, The Impact of Blockchain for Government.

In the digital identity roundtable, the caucus heard from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), IBM, Project Indy, Sovrin Foundation, and Microsoft.

NIST revealed its new internal test bed for exploring blockchain technologies. The test bed will use three blockchain systems: Hyperledger Fabric, MultiChain, and Ethereum. The participants established that more research must be done around blockchain’s security, privacy, scalability, consensus algorithms, and quantum resistance.

In the payments roundtable, the caucus heard from Joust Bank and Ripple. They focused on the experiments with blockchain within the financial market. One key point that was made was that the current proof-of-work paradigm for mining Bitcoin, which adds new blocks to the chain by completing a complex computational puzzle for a reward, would not work in the government space.

In the supply chain and governance roundtable, the caucus heard from NIST, Endor, Sweetbridge, Risk Cooperative, IBM, Seagate, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The caucus members expressed an interest in learning more about the interoperability of blockchains and the NIST’s work on how blockchain technology can be impacted by quantum cryptography.

The roundtables and the report aimed to discover potential opportunities and threats in blockchain technology and discover ways it can drive economic vitality. The technology can not move further without the support of the government, as legislation needs to be prepared for a new era of business scenarios that can happen on a distributed ledger.

Moreover, by exploring and implementing blockchain technology, and specifically digital identities, we can enter a new era of sharing, storing, and accessibility of legal information. As reported by Cointelegraph, after the roundtables, US Congressman Tom Emmer is preparing to introduce three bills to support the development of blockchain technology.

What do you think is the most promising change when it comes to blockchain technology? Can you imagine voting online with your digital ID?