Congress

Blockchain gains congressional support

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The digital ledger system underpinning Bitcoin is gaining support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) launched the Congressional Blockchain Caucus to advance political discussion and policy development for blockchain-based technologies and digital currencies -- and to educate colleagues on what blockchain is.

"The Blockchain Caucus will focus on raising awareness, advancing ideas that foster growth and safeguarding consumers," Polis said in a statement. "It's vital for Americans, businesses and members of Congress to learn about blockchain so the U.S. can continue to secure its stance as the global leader of ingenuity."

Blockchain is generally thought of in relation to Bitcoin, but its ability to maintain an encrypted record of transactions has piqued some interest in government circles about its other potential uses.

"The blockchain has boundless potential," Polis said. "From cryptocurrencies to supply chains to banking to property titling, blockchain-based solutions have the ability to decentralize cybersecurity and revolutionize many industries."

During his time in Congress, Polis has demonstrated a special interest in digital endeavors. In 2014, he hosted a Bitcoin Demo Day on Capitol Hill, and he co-chairs the Congressional Caucus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Open-Source Technology Caucus.

When running for re-election in 2014, Polis' campaign website accepted donations in the form of bitcoin.

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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