Does Blockchain Require Regulations? Austrian Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Says No Need


Blockchain technology came to the center of everyone's attention only after the phenomenal rise and popularity of Bitcoin. As time progressed and the technology got more defined, even those who were skeptical about the future of Bitcoin agreed that Blockchain is here to stay.

Now that there is a significant number of people who understand the potential of the technology and the benefits that it brings to the table, everyone wants a piece of it. Blockchain has grown well beyond the crypto space in the last decade, and governments around the world have been looking to implement blockchain backed models in various sectors like Agriculture, supply-demand chain, healthcare, entertainment and many more.

Although there is a significant rise in adoption of Blockchain technology, it has a far way to go to prove its worth. Many analysts have also called it an instrumental tool for the next industrial revolution, however, in order to achieve that level of adoption, it needs to overcome a lot of issues that it's facing currently and one of the prominent ones is the regulatory concerns.

In the recent ongoing ANON Blockchain Summit going in Austria, the major topic for the panel discussion has been “The role of government in the age of blockchain.” The panel discussion saw three members putting forward their arguments and counter-arguments on the topic.

Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Austria Says Blockchain Does Not Need Regulations

The most significant voice in the panel discussion was that of Margarete Schramböck, Federal Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Austria. She said that according to her point of view, regulations for blockchain is not necessary at least in the initial phases.

She made an interesting point drawing attention towards the technology claiming that it's unfair to regulate blockchain because governments or concerned authorities do not understand the difference. She also put forward the example of C++ and said that we did not regulate the use of C++ and see how the technology has developed over the years for the larger good. She explained,

“We do not need regulation for Blockchain as We also do not regulate technologies such as machine learning or C ++”

People at the event agreed that regulations are only necessary for the activities related to cryptocurrencies since the level of fraud, scam and tax evasion has increased. But, regulating the underlying technology does not make much sense.

Schramböck explained that excessive regulation can cause hindrance and complicate the development of emerging businesses and industries. She also called for better research by governments to avoid overregulating these promising technologies.

She also gave an example of Europe to explain what over regulations can lead to, she said,

“Europe has a strong tendency to overregulate, and then we are surprised that there are no European companies in the top 10 worldwide”

SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Was Not Happy with the Committee After it Denied Approval to Bitcoin ETF.

Just like Austrian minister Margarete Schramböck, even the SEC commissioner Hester Pierce believes that over-regulating new and promising technologies can lead to unmatured technology and become a roadblock in the future. She explained,

More generally, the Commission’s interpretation and application of the statutory standard sends a strong signal that innovation is unwelcome in our markets, a signal that may have effects far beyond the fate of bitcoin ETPs”

Schramböck Feels Blockchain and DLT Can Impact Lives Beyond Industrial Progress

Schramböck is an optimist and believes that Blockchain and DLT if implemented correctly can not only transform the traditional sectors plagued by middlemen and old age methods of monopoly in the hands of few. She believes the technology has the potential to uniform governance as well. She said correct DLT implementation can help reduce bureaucracy, corruption and information transfer between stakeholders.

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