The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled on Wednesday to mark up a bill that would establish a blockchain working group aimed at determining potential applications for blockchain, including in federal agencies.
The working group would include representatives from various federal agencies, private sector firms, academic institutions and blockchain-focused advocacy groups, among other members, according to the bill text.
The Blockchain Promotion Act would require the commerce secretary to establish the working group within 90 days of the bill’s enactment and to designate federal agencies to be represented in the working group, “as the secretary considers appropriate to ensure representation of a cross-section of federal agencies that could use or benefit from blockchain technology,” the bill text states.
Customs and Border Protection has tested several new use cases in the blockchain environment, including a proof of concept for NAFTA and CAFTA certificates of origin completed last year and a developing proof of concept for enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Sens. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduced the legislation on Feb. 26.
Private sector members of the working group would include information and communications technology manufacturers, software providers, nonprofits and consumer advocacy groups engaged in activities relating to blockchain, “rural and urban stakeholders,” and “subject matter experts representing industrial sectors, other than the technology sector, that the [commerce] secretary determines could use or benefit from blockchain technology,” the bill text states.
The legislation would require the working group within one year of enactment to submit to Congress a report containing a recommended definition for blockchain and recommendations for a study to examine a range of potential applications, including non-financial applications for blockchain as well as opportunities for federal agencies to use blockchain.