Senate moves Blockchain Promotion Act forward

The US Congress is moving forward on key piece of legislation designed to lay the regulatory framework for blockchain technology and to see how the government could benefit from its use.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Tuesday approved the Blockchain Promotion Act, bipartisan legislation that directs the Department of Commerce to come up with a standard definition of “blockchain,” the accounting ledger technology that underlies bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Blockchain distributes copies of the ledger across multiple computers so everyone in a network is working off a single record of all transactions, which is resistant to tampering and easy to audit. 

“Blockchain is an exciting new technology with great potential and promise,” Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts and co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. Markey noted that the technology is already being used in the private sector to expand access to renewable energy, enhance health care delivery systems and improve supply chain efficiency.

“This legislation will help further understand applications for this technology and explore opportunities for its use within the federal government,” he added.

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The bill, which was reintroduced in February, has bipartisan sponsors in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. It’s meant to prevent a patchwork of blockchain definitions at the state level and to set the framework for future regulation of the…

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