February 26, 2019

Young and Markey Lead Senate Introduction of Blockchain Legislation

WASHINGTON– Today, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, and Science, and Transportation, introduced the Blockchain Promotion Act of 2019. This legislation would establish a working group of stakeholders across the federal government and private industry to establish a common definition of blockchain technology, which is the bedrock of modern cryptocurrencies and could also have a tremendous impact in nonfinancial industries like supply chain management, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence development, or healthcare.   

“Blockchain has the potential to be a catalyst for sustained economic growth across all industries in America. If America leads in its development, we can ensure that it’s benefits will be shared far and wide. Blockchain has the potential to not only provide financial and economic benefits at home, but humanitarian and social support in developing countries will benefit from American leadership. I’m proud to join with my colleagues to ensure the U.S. is at the forefront of this revolutionary technology,”said Senator Young.

“Blockchain is an exciting technology that has already been deployed to expand access to renewable energy, improve supply chain efficiency, and protect privacy,”said Senator Markey. “I am proud to partner with Senator Young to introduce the Blockchain Promotion Act in order to further understand applications for this technology and explore opportunities for its use within the federal government. This is a commonsense step that helps position the U.S. economy for success.” 

The legislation was also introduced in the House by Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), both members of the House Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee. 

“Opportunities to deploy blockchain technology range from greatly increased transparency, efficiencies and security in supply chains to more-opportunistically managing next generation broadband networks,”said Congresswoman Matsui. “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. I am pleased to work with Congressman Brett Guthrie and Senator Ed Markey and Senator Todd Young on this effort and look forward to ensuring our efforts maintain the pace of rapidly advancing technologies.”

“As our economies become increasingly digital, more organizations are turning to blockchain for business transactions and other new applications,”said Congressman Guthrie. “Blockchain can be a great resource for innovation and technology, but as the technology develops we must reduce regulatory uncertainty by figuring out whether there is a common definition and how the technology can be used. I was proud to join my colleague Congresswoman Doris Matsui to introduce the Blockchain Promotion Act to better understand blockchain and its role in our digital economy.” 

Specifically, the Blockchain Promotion Act of 2019would direct the Department of Commerce to establish a blockchain working group to recommend a consensus-based definition of the technology. The working group would 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.