Members of Congress are urging the federal government to use blockchain solutions to boost COVID relief efforts.
In a Wednesday letter addressed to the U.S. President Donald Trump and federal officials, lawmakers said blockchain technology can help identify and authenticate individuals set to receive government benefits, streamline supply chains and create a registry of medical professionals.
This is the latest development in a trend of U.S. lawmakers actively advocating for blockchain applications and virtual currencies, with representatives re-introducing bipartisan legislation in January that would reduce the tax burden on small crypto transactions, and Massachusetts Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) proposing a bill in April to record national stockpiles on a blockchain.
The letter was led by the four co-chairs of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus: Reps. Tom Emmer (MN-06), Bill Foster (D-IL), David Schweikert and Darren Soto (D-FL).
They were joined by Caucus members Stephen Lynch, Warren Davidson (R-OH), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Ro Khanna (D-CA).
“The membership of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus urges your consideration, support, and implementation of utilizing blockchain technology that could greatly mitigate the effects of the Coronavirus,” the letter said.
This is not the first time members of Congress have urged the government to consider innovative technologies in the pandemic response. In April, 11 representatives signed a letter calling on the U.S Treasury Department to consider blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) in streamlining the distribution of stimulus funds to citizens across the nation.
Within a week of sending the letter, Lynch introduced a bill to mitigate the failures of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) in distributing personal protection equipment such as ventilators to…