Blockchain in the USA, why not… – At the beginning of March 2022, the President of the United States, Joe Biden, was about to sign a Executive Decree intended to outline the government’s plan for cryptocurrencies. However, blockchain technology continues to be of interest in the United States. Indeed, the audit and investigation body of the United States Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), has just published a report to help policymakers implement blockchain technology.
Blockchain, but what for?
The GAO begins its report by presenting how the blockchain works and the key differences between public blockchain and private blockchain. In addition, the GAO takes up the fundamental notions intersected by blockchain technology: smart contracts and consensus protocols.
Next, the organization highlights the potential of blockchain to improve a whole range of financial and non-financial use cases.
The GAO has also established a synthetic organization chart for decision-makers such as the Congressthe federal agenciesthe state governments Americans and academic institutions and research. This flowchart should allow these actors to determine the requirement for implementing blockchain technology.
In addition, the US Congressional Investigative Body notes that:
“Legal or regulatory uncertainty may prevent some potential users from benefiting from blockchain.”
March 2022 GAO Report
Moreover, it is this observation that led him to identify 4 choiceswhich policy makers are strongly encouraged to consider.
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The four policies put forward by the GAO
First, the GAO produced this report at the request of the United States Congress to help the country’s policymakers implement blockchain technology. The objective is to take advantage of the benefits of this technology, while minimizing the disadvantages.
Thus, the GAO recommends 4 policy options that can facilitate the decision-making process, which underpins the implementation of blockchain technology. According to the GAO, establishing these policies would address most of the challenges posed by blockchain technology. The four policies recommended by GAO are:
- Set standards : GAO recommends collaboration among policy makers to achieve a unification of standards focusing on the development, implementation, and use of blockchain technology. This policy would make it possible to meet the challenges related to interoperability and data security.
- Clarify monitoring mechanisms : the objective is to provide for proper monitoring of blockchain applications. This policy could solve the problems of legal and regulatory uncertainty.
- Publish educational content : this content would allow users and various regulators to better understand blockchain technology, beyond the existing use cases. This option could help with comprehension challenges.
- Communicate around appropriate use cases : GAO suggests that policymakers support activities to determine whether blockchain technology is appropriate to achieve specific missions and objectives. This policy would be likely to mitigate risks, particularly for financial systems.
Finally, the GAO emphasizes the lack of authority of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in its collaboration with non-governmental entities.
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