House Committee passes bill to ‘preserve U.S. leadership’ in blockchain

by NEW YORK DIGITAL NEWS



A United States House Committee has unanimously passed a pro-blockchain bill, which would task the U.S. commerce secretary to promote blockchain deployment and thus potentially increase the country’s use of blockchain technology.

On Dec. 5, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce voted 46-0 to pass H.R. 6572, the Deploying American Blockchains Act of 2023, in a session aiming to clear 44 pieces of legislation.

The 13-page blockchain bill would direct Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to “take actions necessary and appropriate to promote the competitiveness of the United States related to the deployment, use, application, and competitiveness of blockchain technology or other distributed ledger technology.”

Cody Carbone, the policy head for blockchain advocacy group the Chamber of Digital Commerce, commended the committee for passing the bill on X (Twitter), saying it will “help preserve U.S. leadership in blockchain development, which is sorely needed.”

Before its passing, Blockchain Association CEO Kristin Smith said the bill “rightfully advances our nation’s competitiveness in this nascent space.”

The bill covers an array of actions the commerce secretary must take if passed, including making best practices, policies and recommendations for the public and private sector when using blockchain tech.

A “Blockchain Deployment Program” would be created to support the technology’s use. It would also establish government advisory committees to support blockchain adoption with federal agency representatives, blockchain industry stakeholders, experts and others forming its membership.

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It would also see the country promote blockchain leadership and improve coordination for federal agencies wanting to use blockchain tech. Studies on federal agencies’ current use of blockchain and their future preparedness to adopt the tech will also be undertaken.

The pro-crypto bill is one of at least 50 floating around Congress since 2022 — which has been hamstrung this year without a House speaker.

The act, however, isn’t seen as being among those having a potentially major impact, such as the Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act — which would affirm a process for the contentious issue of labeling cryptocurrencies as commodities or securities and clarify regulator jurisdictions.

The bill will now go to the House for a vote. If passed, it will need to make its way through the Senate before returning for final Congressional and presidential approval.

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