Blockchain Has the Power to Prevent Government from “Being Bribed,” Per Overstock.com CEO


The beauty of blockchain is that there is a level of immutability that benefits anyone on it. It is this censorship resistance that keeps the ledger honest, and that is one feature that CEO and founder of Overstock, Patrick Byrne, enjoys. In a recent interview with MarketWatch, Byrne stated that the blockchain technology would help to make the government, “superefficient and incapable of being bribed.

Right now, Byrne believes that the government services have reached a point of needed to change their structure. Blockchain technology would ensure that all government record is permanent without redaction. In the proposal Byrne unofficially puts forth, he said that the authorities should start by

“building government-as-a-service, a set of applications and companies that, between them, can bring blockchain to different services that governments provide.”

It is with these actions that the government would no longer have the option of bribery.

Byrne added, “We could step into Venezuela with six laptops and create not only a functioning society but arguably one with the most advanced government systems in the world. We could bring them a central bank on the laptop. Everyone in Venezuela downloads a free app, and suddenly you have the most advanced monetary system on the planet.”

The CEO personally believes that a contract with at least one sovereign nation is in his future to help with the changes in government services.

Last month, Overstock.com had stated that part of their Ohio-based business taxes would be paid through the cryptocurrency taxpayer platform, which he would use Bitcoin to complete. The new platform is being called OhioCrypto.com. Byrne believes that integrating the blockchain into the local government will “ensure the U.S. does not lose our place at the forefront of the ever-advancing global economy.

A new cryptocurrency bill was recently passed in Venezuela, showing exactly how cryptocurrency will be handled in the country. The bill includes the concept of a sovereign crypto asset, which they consider to be any currency issued in Venezuela that the government approves of.

They added that mining companies and crypto exchanges must be approved for licenses to operate, and that fines will be imposed for any company found without a license.

Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy, participated in an article for The Guardian in December, discussing the way that governments could handle cryptocurrencies. He expects that there will be worldwide regulation that would ultimately “stamp out privately constructed systems.”

He added, “The right way to think about cryptocurrency coins is as lottery tickets that pay off in a dystopian future where they are used in rogue and failed states, or perhaps in countries where citizens have already lost all semblance of privacy. It is no coincidence that dysfunctional Venezuela is the first issuer of a state-backed cryptocurrency (the ‘petro’).”

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