ITIF's new blockchain guide encourages 'targeted and flexible' government policies
Published: May 02, 2019
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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation has released a “Policymaker’s Guide to provide guidance around blockchain technology.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) has released a “Policymaker’s Guide” to better help stem confusion and inform future implementations of blockchain technology. The report recommends the use of blockchain technology at all levels of government, namely for functions that require an immutable record, high levels of transparency, and decentralized authority. While blockchain may not be a panacea, there are numerous uses in applications for which it is well-suited, such as supply chain management, identity management, and voting.
In order to encourage blockchain innovation and adoption, the report offers 10 principles to guide policymakers as they approach the use of blockchain:
- 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.
Companies interested in working with blockchain technologies may find it useful to review this report and keep these considerations in mind. Although it still remains to be seen if, how, and when governments continue to explore the use of blockchain, it is certainly is an area of interest, and as more and more states introduce pilot programs, form work groups, or advance legislation around the use of the technology, it will likely remain an area for technology vendors to watch.