February 22, 2019 4:35 PM

The CDC encourages regulators to bone up on their knowledge of blockchain technology before developing regulations.

On February 20, US-based blockchain advocacy group the Chamber of Digital Commerce (CDC) published its National Action Plan for Blockchain. Members of the CDC presented the plan to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on February 19.

The CDC’s plan calls on governing bodies in the US to publicly state their support for blockchain technology. The CDC helpfully suggests these statements and actions involve the following:

“[An] official summit convening both public and private stakeholders to consider the top issues of the day, as well as an Executive Order declaring that government agencies must coordinate on policy and take into consideration the need to develop this technology when developing guidance, regulations, and regulatory actions.”

To help guide US regulators, the CDC gives its suggestions on how regulations should be developed, what governing bodies should know before creating these regulations, and the key areas where it believes blockchain technology will have the greatest impact.

Before rules governing blockchain technology are developed and implemented, the CDC wants regulators to “study and understand” exactly what blockchain technology is, how it works, and the benefits and drawbacks it brings to government, business, and consumers. It also asks for the establishment of a governmental office to coordinate the US blockchain strategy.

Once regulators are well-versed in the new technology, the CDC wants them to realize the industry is still in its infancy and “adopt a light touch” so as to not stifle innovation. The advocacy group further requests that regulations be based on individual use cases rather than on the type of technology used, and that all 50 states work together to avoid a “regulatory patchwork.”

The use cases suggested by the CDC include the usual suspects for blockchain applications: supply chains, financial services, and intellectual property protections. The advocacy group also honed in on the benefits of EDCCs (aka smart contracts):

“This utility can be used to create disintermediated business processes: where payments across entire supply chains are streamlined, and equity holders or employees are compensated automatically upon the occurrence of certain events. The potential economic gain can be furthered with the addition of other types of new technologies, such as IoT-enabled devices.”

According to its website, the Chamber of Digital Commerce is the “world’s leading trade association representing the digital asset and blockchain industry,” and has been fairly active in the crypto-space. In October 2016, the CDC hosted what it called the very first smart contract symposium, which promoted the real-world application of EDCCs. In February 2017, it collaborated with the Structured Finance Industry Group to help improve the security of blockchain technology. In December 2017, the CDC announced the development of a nonprofit organization intended to support cryptocurrency and blockchain technology growth and development in the US. 

Nathan Graham is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews. He lives in Sparks, Nevada, with his wife, Beth, and dog, Kyia. Nathan has a passion for new technology, grant writing, and short stories. He spends his time rafting the American River, playing video games, and writing.

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