US Government Watchdog: 'Unclear' If New DLT Rules Needed

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) believes that the question of whether new blockchain regulations are needed remains an open one.

Apr 20, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:15 p.m. UTC

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has yet to decide if new regulations are needed to capture blockchain tech.

The agency, which provides investigative and auditing services to the US Congress, published a broad, multi-chapter report today on the state of fintech today. Included is a section on blockchain that explores details the technology itself while providing an overview of industry developments in recent months.

The release comes months after the GAO audited the digital currency policies of the Internal Revenue Service last year, releasing a report that warned the agency had left consumers at risk of perhaps unintentionally failing to meet their tax obligations due to its existing policies.

While the new report isn't so focused on one particular area of policy, it does echo a refrain among governments worldwide: that it's not certain if blockchain requires a new kind of regulatory framework.

The report notes:

"Continued development of DLT is needed to understand how DLT and its components will be regulated by the existing legal and regulatory system. Additionally, it is unclear whether new regulation will need to be created because DLT can present new and unique challenges."

, for example, the EU's top securities watchdog issued a similar statement, noting that, after more than a year of fact-finding and soliciting of public comments, its officials concluded that new regulations would be premature.


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