ITIF Shares New Blockchain Technology Policy Proposal Guidelines To Regulate Industry
Governments all around the world are trying to make of sense of blockchain technology. Now, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has released a “Policymaker’s Guide” that they hope will remove complexity and inform further targeted implementations of the distributed-ledger technology.
ITIF’s vice president and one of the report’s authors said:
“That’s where we’re going to see some very interesting use cases. What we don’t want to see is a bunch of government spending on blockchain that turns into vaporware but that can actually make an impact. A lot of people still don’t understand what it is. It’s complicated technology and we wanted to tease out government’s role and provide general principles policymakers can use to regulate or not regulate it”
They recommend the governments to do more to support blockchain innovation and adoption, including by supporting public sector adoption, creating a flexible regulatory environment to allow experimentation, and using targeted regulatory enforcement.
The report recommends that at a federal level, the General Services Administration should create a “blockchain service acquisition unit” and reform of procurement policies to allow the government to keep up with blockchain’s rapid pace of development. Commercial regulations should be written carefully to avoid impeding innovation.
Notably, provisions in some recent privacy laws, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which requires the possibility for online records to be erased under “right to be forgotten” rules, are at odds with the fundamental immutability that blockchain’s records are imbued with.
To summarize the report, the report offers 10 principles to guide policymakers. They are:
- Ensure technology neutrality.
- Actively support blockchain adoption and deployment in the public sector.
- Support blockchain research and development.
- Promote legal certainty for blockchain applications.
- Set rules for blockchains at the national, not subnational, level.
- Create a flexible regulatory environment that enables experimentation.
- Use targeted regulatory enforcement to incentivize companies to protect consumers.
- Avoid laws and regulations that prevent the use of blockchain technology.
- Promote data interoperability for blockchain applications.
- Work to establish international harmonization of blockchain regulations across sectors.
As blockchain increases in popularity, we can expect more of such institutions to help out with the complicated business of blockchain and crypto regulations. Governments and consumers need all the help that they can get.