Congressional Caucus sees the opportunity in Blockchain

On Jan. 31, 2017, the Congressional Blockchain Caucus hosted a reception in Longworth House Office Building. The bipartisan Blockchain Caucus was formed in September 2016 by Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Rick Mulvaney (R-SC) to ensure both members and the public were aware and educated about blockchain and distributed ledger technology (“DLT”). Judging from the crowd at the reception last night, people are excited about the current projects and potential growth areas for blockchain and DLT. Both industry and members are working to ensure this technology and its possible impact are better understood. Blockchain was originally introduced as part of Bitcoin, but it has grown separately from the virtual currency and has amazing potential to revolutionize recordkeeping, automated transactions, and cybersecurity. Rep. Polis spoke at the beginning of the reception to reiterate his support for blockchain and his excitement about its potential. Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) spoke about the progress that has been made on blockchain in the short time it’s been available.

Coin Center and Chamber of Digital Commerce had representatives at the reception and were instrumental in setting up the reception. Multiple people from the industry were present and full of ideas on new and improved use of blockchain. Amir Zaidi, recently appointed Director of the Division of Market Oversight, was representing the CFTC, which is poised to have a bigger role in regulating blockchain and DLT. The proposed OCC special purpose national bank charter for fintech companies was a point of discussion, as was the Cook County Recorder’s Office experiment with DLT. Without a doubt, more people, including lawmakers, are paying attention to DLT and its potential and 2017 is poised to be a big year for the industry.

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