The development of an effective and comprehensive blockchain regulatory framework in the United States is no easy task. In addition to the natural complexity of the task of fitting a complicated technological innovation into an existing regulating structure, the legislative process by which the U.S. legal system is operated presents a unique obstacle.
Aside from the kind of federal regulation which most modern governments employ for blockchain technology’s regulation, the United States government is also comprised of fifty states, many of which have their own financial regulatory organizations which claim sovereignty over investigatory matters of grave importance to the future of cryptocurrencies on the blockchain.
The recent move by one state to establish a blockchain working group helps to illustrate the importance of state efforts in the regulatory future of the blockchain. Connecticut’s governor recently signed into law a bill creating a working group in order to further study blockchain technology. Signing the bill on June 6th, the governor ratified the bill, which had been passed unanimously within the state’s House of Representatives.
Breaking down the legislation by each of its core components, it becomes evident that the bill is integral to the fair and respectful regulation within the blockchain community. Though more announcements will likely come from the government regarding the status and effectiveness of the working group, the initial formation by itself is a significant movement in the right direction for the creation of a responsible regulatory framework.
The bill, officially designated SB 443, passed with no opposition through the Senate and House before being signed into law by the state’s governor, Dannel Malloy on June 6th. The bill was marketed to senators successfully, many sporting the concept that the formation of a working group could help to make the small state a “leader in blockchain technology.”
The bill provided explicit instructions for the members of the group. Specifically, they were tasked with four charges.
First, the working group is expected to identify growth opportunities that the technology offers. They are also instructed to “assess the existing blockchain industry,” with their efforts concentrated in their home state of Connecticut. Further, the working organization has been given the task of reviewing both workforce and academic needs for the furthering of blockchain knowledge across “all relevant industries.”
Finally, the group is given a legislative mandate to “make legislative recommendations” that are likely to promote both innovation and economic growth by “reducing barriers” and contributing in many ways to the growth of the technological industry as it develops within the state.
Blockchain Working Group
The group will be comprised of five or more members that either currently possess significant knowledge of blockchain, or could stand to learn a lot from participation in the group. Additionally, the state’s Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, will be an ex-officio member of the working group.
Before the first day of 2019, the working group is required to submit both a study and a set of legislative recommendations which consider key financial and banking aspects essential to a comprehensive legislative knowledge-base.
The concept of a working group for blockchain development is not a new one, either. New York passed a bill in May of this year to create their own task force, and several other states have been effective at creating legislation which finally responds to the growing regulatory and research-based needs for the blockchain industry and its potential regulators.
As the committee forms and discussions move forward, this latest move from Connecticut could well be the first action on the road to the state truly becoming a safe-haven for the development of a sophisticated and innovative blockchain industry.