As of the end of 2019, Congress has introduced 21 bills addressing cryptocurrency and blockchain policy that could be considered in 2020 by the second year of the 116th Congress. Indeed, U.S. legislators have been busy examining the landscape of how this new technology has been and could be impacting businesses, consumers, and society at large. Although Congress introduced a total of 22 bills that involve cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology, there are three main public policy areas that will likely be the continued focus of the 116th Congress into 2020.
The first main public policy issue relates to how cryptocurrency might be used in a wide variety of very dangerous activities, such as evading U.S. sanctions, human trafficking and terrorist use. In addition to these concerns, many legislators are also looking for the U.S. to explore how the unique tracking capabilities of cryptocurrencies as well as blockchain technology may assist U.S. government agencies in the pursuit of bad actions in the activities mentioned.
The second and most often reported type of public policy issue is how companies can use cryptocurrency and blockchain in business models within the current regulatory framework. The size of the United States economy and complexity of its regulatory structure on both a federal and state level can be stifling for private sector innovations.
Finally, the policy issue of how distributed ledger technologies might be utilized by the U.S. government itself is addressed by the legislation that has been introduced so far, particularly as other countries have focused an intense amount of time, effort, and money on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
The table below shows how the three main public policy categories…