Two blockchain proposals have been added to a wider piece of legislation on consumer protection after being passed by a U.S. congressional committee Wednesday.
- The House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed a motion Wednesday to incorporate the Blockchain Innovation Act and part of the Digital Taxonomy Act into a broader Consumer Safety Technology Act.
- This adds blockchain technology onto a list of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), that the Department of Commerce (DoC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will be mandated to closely examine so as to identify any potential consumer risks.
- The FTC would be required to file a report with recommendations to Congress on how best to address deceptive practices relating to digital tokens.
- It would also call for a government study to be conducted to determine how technologies, such as blockchain, can combat fraud and other unfair or deceptive practices.
- A statement from Representative Darren Soto (D-Fla.), the bills' sponsor, said the ultimate aim was to establish a Blockchain Center for Excellence within the DoC.
- "I believe our government needs to support that growth, establish light-touch regulations to ensure certainty, protect innovation, stop fraud and enable its appropriate use for government, business and consumers," Soto said.
- This is believed to the furthest that a bill on blockchain has ever come in the U.S. Congress.
- The new bill reflects similar comments made by the government's antitrust chief last week, who said blockchain technology deserves to be protected by law as it could help stop the formation of market monopolies.
- The Consumer Safety Technology Act will now be debated in the House of Representatives.