US State Dept. on Blockchain: Sometimes Gov’t Should ‘Stay out of the Way’

The technology needs thorough research both at home and abroad through diplomacy, Manisha Singh says.

A United States senior government official said that the country was closely monitoring global approaches to blockchain in a speech at the 4th Annual DC Blockchain Summit on March 6.

The event, organized by blockchain advocacy group the Chamber of Digital Commerce (CDC), featured various influential speakers from U.S. politics.

This year, discussing domestic and coordinated international efforts around blockchain, Acting Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Manisha Singh, explained that the Trump Administration was busy surveying other states’ activities in the area.

Speaking about the State Department’s perspective on blockchain and what the agency looks to other nations for, Singh stated:

“We want to see other countries adopt light-touch and compatible regulations so the private sector has room to innovate and perfect potential new uses for blockchain. As the government, sometimes the best thing we can do to help is stay out of the way.”

On the State Department’s current role, she added that the agency is currently in the research phase, looking to“better understand” the tech. She stated: “blockchain technology is becoming a global phenomenon. It is therefore essential that we better understand this cutting-edge technology, as it becomes more widely adopted in our economy.”

Despite its notoriously patchwork approach to cryptocurrency regulation, the U.S. has pushed ahead with blockchain technology experimentation in various fields at the state level.

As Cointelegraph reported, these use cases have recently included defense and voting procedures, among others.

At the current time, Singh continued, lawmakers are curious about decentralization, declaring:

“We’ll conduct oversight as necessary and ensure public protections, yet our overall goal is to understand the benefits of the open and decentralized nature of this technology.”

Speaking at the same event, Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of U.S. regulator the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), even considered blockchain as a would-be mitigating factor in the 2008 economic crash.

“What a difference it would have made a decade ago if blockchain technology had been the informational foundation of Wall Street’s derivatives exposures,” Cointelegraph reported him as saying on Thursday.

This week, new research put projected blockchain spending in 2019 at just under $3 billion worldwide.

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