A recently published report from the IBM Center for the Business of Government has called on the US government to provide leadership and guidance to the rising blockchain industry and help spur its adoption.
The report, written by the director of the MIT Trust: Data Consortium, Thomas Hardjono, gives readers a summary of the results of a series of meetings held by Congressional Blockchain Caucus. The Caucus is a group of US lawmakers who support blockchain technology. Led by US Representatives David Schweikert and Jared Polis, the meetings aimed to help understand and speed up the development of potential use cases for blockchain.
Focusing On Blockchain’s Use Cases
The caucus held three meetings between 2017 and 2018, with each meeting focusing on a different use case for blockchain technology, namely digital identity, payments, and supply chain, and provenance. The report takes a look at these meetings, explaining that the consensus in the industry is that blockchain tech will become the leading edge of the next internet economy.
The report adds that:
“It is imperative that government and industry work together to continue and strengthen technological and market leadership in this new area, and to address potential policy and regulatory incompatibility that may constrain the growth of the emerging digital-blockchain economy.”
Each meeting dedicated itself to examining use cases, finding common interests, speeding up technological deployment, establish possible roadblocks to adoption and find blockchain components which may be used across other businesses and industries.
Attendees identified three common themes in their meetings. First, participants believe government leadership and vision is necessary. Second, that both the industry and the government need to collaborate closely, and lastly, that increased research and test-bed deployments are a must.
The report expands on this, saying:
“Currently there is a need for greater vision and leadership across government regarding the development of technology for a digital-blockchain economy, and the U.S. role in this future economy. Industry leaders believe this technology will be core to the future of the economy as a whole, just as the Internet has become.”
A Call For Leadership And Resources
While the report did not elaborate on the attendees of the meetings, some big names did come up, namely representatives from Ripple, Sweetbridge, Joust Bank, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity Foundation, the Sovrin Foundation, the Linux Foundation, and IBM, who all gave presentations at one or another of the meetings.
There were also a few repeat attendees at each meeting, the report says.
The report concludes that further resources need to be allocated towards blockchain technology, in the same way the US Government helped fund the early days of internet research in the 1970s and 1980s.
The report concludes this viewpoint, saying that:
“It was this support from [the] government, combined with a shared vision for a U.S. leadership role in initial internet communications technology, that allowed the internet to flourish with broad adoption and become the foundation of the digital economy today.”
Interested in other blockchain innovations and the latest in cryptocurrency news? Head over to our cryptocurrency news site for more.