With the explosion in popularity of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in 2017, many of the world’s regulators and watchdogs were caught unawares and have been scrambling ever since to draw up legislation for these burgeoning sectors.
Nebraska Takes a Step Ahead with Blockchain Technology
As there are so many people getting involved in ventures related to cryptocurrency and blockchain, there needs to be adequate rules and regulations laid out for both investors and innovators. The growing adoption is why regulatory bodies across the world have been slowly but surely bringing in various bills related to the innovations.
In yet another American development, there has been a legislative hearing in the state of Nebraska that involved terms such as smart contracts, the blockchain, and cryptocurrency.
There had been voices on both sides of the aisle talking about digital wallets, digital tokens, distributed ledgers and, of course, bitcoin. It appears that for the very first time in their history, lawmakers in the Midwestern state are coming to grips with bills related to blockchain technology.
The bill in question is also related to two of the primary uses of blockchain technology which is smart contracts and digital currencies. In total, there have been four measures introduced by two senators. Three committees are currently assessing these.
It was Senator Carol Blood who proposed three of the bills, and she believes that they can help nurture a burgeoning industry with massive potential. This could also be a potentially lucrative addition to the Nebraskan economy if they can offer favorable rules and regulations for and attract relevant companies to the state.
— Senator Carol Blood (@senatorblood) February 16, 2018
Senator Paul Schumacher proposed the other bill with the aim opening a channel of dialogue among lawmakers regarding these technologies. Schumacher hopes that the passing of these bills will help them become more informed about its potential benefits.
He noted that this would be an excellent opportunity for the state to be a leading force for once when it comes to a lucrative opportunity, instead of being “where we usually are and that’s at the tail’s end.”
Perhaps the most significant obstacle in the way of blockchain technology at the moment is getting people in critical positions to understand novel and unfamiliar concepts.
There was a survey carried out by KPMG and the Governing Institute whereby it found that 48 percent of government executives were “very unfamiliar” with the idea of the blockchain. There are doubts therefore as to how effective these proposed bills will be when it comes to their debate, as a lot of people do not understand the core concept.
The main bill that Blood is focusing on is legally recognizing smart contracts and distributed ledger technology, in addition to securing electronic records and signatures via distributed ledger technology.
Another one of the bills she proposed is related to the development of a regulatory structure for digital currencies, but this is not something she wishes to pursue at this time. Her final bill would stop counties and cities from regulating or taxing distributed ledger technology itself or any of this uses.
Schumacher’s proposed bill is also related to the regulatory structure of digital currencies in the state, but both this proposed bill and Blood’s regulatory structure bill are expected to receive stern opposition.