Regulation: Is a National Strategy on Blockchain Technology Needed? | Corporate Counsel (law.com)

The Chamber of Digital Commerce, headquartered in Washington, D.C., released its proposals last week asking "the highest levels of the U.S. government to embrace a comprehensive, national strategy for blockchain technology,” including a set of “guiding principles.”


By MP McQueen 


A blockchain trade group is concerned that a patchwork of regulations in the United States will deter progress in the technology, and is asking policymakers to take action to “recognize and incentivize the development of blockchain solutions for government and industry,” according to a statement from the Chamber of Digital Commerce.


The chamber, headquartered in Washington, D.C., released its proposals last week “calling on the highest levels of the U.S. government to embrace a comprehensive, national strategy for blockchain technology,” including a set of “guiding principles.

The group represents more than 200 companies, including Cisco, block.one, BNY Mellon,  TDBank, KPMG, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), Microsoft and Ripple.

Its lawyers committee members include such firms as BuckleyCooleyDentonsDebevoise & Plimpton; and Reed Smith.


Amy Davine Kim, chief policy officer at the chamber, said in an interview Monday, “we are trying to make sure that blockchain is afforded the same weight and importance” as the development of the internet for commercial purposes more than 20 years ago.

The organization, founded in 2014, is concerned that without such direction, U.S. leadership in the technology will fall behind other countries such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Japan.

“We just want to ensure that the U.S. government at the highest levels promotes and supports this technology and to shine a light on all it can do for government, for business and for consumers,” said Kim, who formerly was an attorney at Buckley and Patton Boggs, now Squire Patton Boggs, where she advised on cross-border transactions and U.S. regulation.

The report said “most public statements regarding virtual currencies in particular have been in the form of advisories, warnings and enforcement actions.” The group wants the government to make a “clearly articulated statement” of support for development of blockchain technology and its positive applications.

Kim said the plan has received positive feedback from agency officials in the federal government and others since its release. The plan was presented to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this week.

Some of the other applications of distributed ledger technology, which includes blockchain, are payment systems, medical data transfer, health care benefits administration and supply chain management.

For instance, blockchain could have helped authorities quickly identify the source of tainted lettuce in a recent recall, eliminating the need to discard tons of produce because of an inability to determine the origin of a shipment with precision, Kim said.

Walmart recently has started using blockchain for that purpose.

Read More: As JP Morgan Ventures Into Cryptocurrency, a Blockchain General Counsel Spells Out What It MeansIn-House Lawyers Face Growing Demands Due to Intense Regulatory Environment, Survey Finds

MP McQueen



MP McQueen is editor-at-large, and can be reached at mpmcqueen@alm.com

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    Francisco Gimeno - BC Analyst While Europe and some Asian countries are already developing some national and continental strategies for blockchain development in economic sectors, USA is lagging behind. Meanwhile, US tech companies go their own path researching and trying use cases.