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US Lawmaker Proposes Legislative Groundwork for National Blockchain Strategy

According to a report earlier this week, U.S. House Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) introduced a bill calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to survey the prevalence of blockchain technologies across industry, government and the globe. CoinDesk obtained a draft version of the bill, HB6938, which is shared in full below.

If passed, the bill, which had no cosponsors when referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would give the FTC two years to conduct the survey and a further six months to advise Congress on what it learned.

Guthrie calls for recommendations on state-level blockchain adoption, business sector blockchain adoption, blockchain development plans, risk mitigation strategies, legislative frameworks and how to consolidate potentially prohibitive federal statutes.

The recommendation package would effectively outline a comprehensive blockchain strategy for the United States.

Some U.S. allies already have such a framework, including Germany. (The proposed FTC survey would give lawmakers a rundown of at least 10 countries’ blockchain strategies’ relative to the U.S.).

But Guthrie’s main concern appears to be the clear leader of national blockchain strategies, and an adversarial one at that: China.

“We cannot let China beat us,” he said in a press statement.

In April China launched the Blockchain Services Network, and it is now moving swiftly forward with testing of its central bank digital currency, the digital yuan. It has aggressively courted state-sponsored blockchain use cases far beyond the actions of the U.S.

Staying a step ahead of China has gotten only more crucial in the age of COVID-19, Guthrie said.

“The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that we need to maintain American leadership in technology,” he said in the statement. “America is a nation of innovation and enterprise – and we need to keep it that way.”

The bill is part of an emerging tech legislative package by House Republicans.

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