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US Legislators Introduce Bill To Study Blockchain For Consumer Protection

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Three U.S. legislators have introduced a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives for conducting an in-depth study of blockchain technology and its use in consumer protection and for other purposes. They have called for the report of the study to be submitted to the Congress.

The bill, referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, was submitted by Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL), Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA).

The slight partisan bill (Democrat 2-1) seeks "to direct the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission, to conduct a study and submit to Congress a report on the state of the blockchain technology and use in consumer protection, and for other purposes."

In May last year, a group of US lawmakers sent a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump's adviser urging the Administration to include blockchain technology in its initiatives on emerging technologies.

The Congressmen strongly urged the Trump Administration to direct the National Economic Council to convene a forum of stakeholders to examine the policy issues facing the industry, and support blockchain technology.

Representatives Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) and Darren Soto (D-FL) led the initiative to draft the letter, addressed to Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council. Reps. Bill Foster (D-WI), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Ted Budd (R-NC), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and David Schweikert (R-AZ) were the other signatories to the letter.

Previously in October 2018, U.S. Representatives Doris Matsui and Brett Guthrie had introduced a bill aiming to establish a common definition of blockchain technology.

The bill titled "Blockchain Promotion Act of 2018" had been proposed for the establishment of a working group of stakeholders across the federal government and private industry to find the digital technology's definition.

Specifically, the bill directed the Department of Commerce to establish the blockchain working group to recommend a consensus-based definition.

However, these bills do not mention anything about digital assets of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and only focus on enhancing the use of blockchain technology.

Despite being a flourishing market for cryptocurrency, the U. S. does not have a national framework for regulating it, with several federal agencies claiming conflicting jurisdictions.

Currently, different federal departments consider digital assets as property, commodities, or securities. Some states have onerous regulations, such as New York's BitLicense.

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