United States Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC 10), Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Committee, praised New York for enforcing strict digital currency regulations without encroaching on the atmosphere of innovation. McHenry said this during the pilot episode of Blockchain Policy Matters with Bitcoin Association founding president Jimmy Nguyen. Blockchain Policy Matters is an online video series geared towards providing audiences worldwide with the current political landscape that surrounds the adoption of digital currencies and blockchain technology.
“New York is not what I would call a “light-touch” financial regulatory state, but they are more thoughtful when it comes to cryptocurrency. It is encouraging that they can “get it”—have what I would say is an onerous set of financial regulations—but they can get this within an atmosphere of innovation,” McHenry said.
The North Carolina congressman, who is an active proponent of blockchain technology, warned policymakers about the dangers of being over-eager in pushing strict legislation that can hamper the adoption and development of this new technology.
“I don’t think we need to go into a more onerous atmosphere around cryptocurrencies and their adoption. I don’t think that’s necessary, nor do I think it’s proper. I do think it would inhibit innovation and the adoption and the raising of funds in order to adopt these technologies here in the United States,” McHenry explained.
Raising capital to develop blockchain technology for widespread use in the government is important for McHenry, and this is one of his priorities in the current congressional session.
“We have to build off what the Securities Exchange Commission laid out in the guidance they’ve given in order for legitimate money to come into the development and capacity to deploy new cryptocurrencies and new innovations…. We have to build on that legislatively so that you can have more legitimate dollars flow into this technology and into the development of this technology,” McHenry stated.
McHenry recognizes that acceptance and adoption of Bitcoin and blockchain technology will take some time as lawmakers need to first understand the benefits of this new innovation.
“At the state level, we’ve seen various different types of adoption of distributed ledger technology and an acceptance of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. I think that will eventually percolate up into policymakers better understanding it in Washington,” McHenry said.
“Right now, that baseline of education for policymakers is very important, because what we don’t need out of Washington or the states is to restrict or crush or try to kill this type of technological advancement,” McHenry added.
Basic education of lawmakers about blockchain technology is key to its adoption by the government. This is so they can comprehend the full potential of this new technology, as well as dispel whatever misconceptions they already have about it.
Bitcoin Association has recently launched online educational platform Bitcoin SV Academy as part of their commitment to educating the global audience about the original Bitcoin design. The introductory course to Bitcoin Theory is free, and each of the 12 lessons takes up only between 45 minutes to an hour. It will not take up much of policymakers’ time. The knowledge is there for the taking, only the desire to do so is missing.