Who Will Write the Blockchain Rules? The U.S Urged to Wake Up

Wilfred Michael 

Wilfred Michael

News reporter

20 November 2019,
Who Will Write the Blockchain Rules? The U.S Urged to Wake Up

With other countries like China already embracing blockchain technology as a tool for improving their local economy and asserting global dominance, the U.S has often been accused of playing second fiddle especially by not providing clear regulations for the emerging industry.

Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Heath Tarbert became the latest high ranking official to share his thoughts on why the United States must brace up for the competition for which country would lead the global blockchain economy.

Interestingly Tarbert, who only recently succeeded Christopher Giancarlo in that position is not the only official who has spoken about the need for the United States to allocate more interest to the blockchain space.

Former CFTC Chair, Gary Gensler and Timothy Massad who also served in the same capacity have voiced similar concerns, albeit with more focus on the need for regulators to provide clear rule to govern the local crypto and blockchain ecosystem.

Tarbert, however, in a Tuesday CNBC interview reminded anyone watching that the race isn’t one that the U.S is sure to win without putting in the needed effort. 

He spoke about the potential of blockchain technology to overtake the internet or exist parallel to it because it can be used for a variety of different kinds of transactions beyond the financial system which brought it to the limelight.

The CFTC chair expressed his wish that the United States leads “particularly in the blockchain technology that underlies digital assets,” and issued what could be considered a prediction as well as a warning.

Heath Tarbert said in the interview:

I think whoever ends up leading in this technology will end up writing the rules of the road for the rest of the world.

His concerns are apparently clear as any country that dominates the blockchain space will end of creating what rules will guide the industry and norms that other countries must follow when deploying blockchain application.

“My emphasis is on making sure that the United States is a leader,” Tarbert concluded on the matter.

Evidently, the onus is on the United States government to decide how much committed it will be to promoting blockchain technology and the young fledging industry operating within its jurisdiction.

With many other countries already in the race, as mentioned earlier, both private and public deployment of blockchain for diverse purposes will likely decide who wins at the end of the day.

Putting that into perspective, Tarbert’s latest comment may be considered a wakeup call to the U.S. If the States must write ‘global blockchain rules,’ then it must fix the local ecosystem and only then will it be poised to play on the international level.

There are current concerns regarding how different crypto tokens, especially those used to raise funds should be classified, and what rules projects must work with when conducting such offerings. There is also regulatory uncertainty regarding the status of Bitcoin as someone regulatory body treats it as a commodity and another as a property to be taxed when used for financial transactions.

It is evidently until these common issues are addressed that talks of the global dominance of the blockchain industry will come to the fore for the United States.


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