The 2018 joint economic report published by the US Congress last week had an entire section dedicated to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The report refers 2017 as “the year of cryptocurrencies”, while pointing out that Bitcoin made headlines for taking the second place in Google’s year in search 2017.
The report suggests blockchain as a potential tool for securing America’s digital infrastructure.
Furthermore, according to the report, these new innovations and markets present America’s regulatory and legislative institutions with unique challenges as well as technology that could revolutionize the world’s digital landscape and economy.
The section dedicated to cryptocurrencies begins describing how the stunning price appreciation of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) dwarfed the stock market gains, before explaining cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology in detail.
Quoting PricewaterhouseCoopers, the report explains the advantage of raising funds through an ICO, instead of the traditional IPO. A company has to spend between four to seven percent of the capital raised and an additional $4.2 million in accounting costs. Further, after surveying chief financial officers, PricewaterhouseCoopers found that companies spend between $1 million and $2 million annually on maintaining their status as a publicly listed entity. In contrast, an ICO would take three months and cost approximately $60,000.
The report also explains how blockchain technology can solve real-world problem such as securing medical records, tracking medical chain, management of electrical grid, global shipping, retail supply chain management, etc. Specifically, the report appreciates that blockchain products tries to comply with the current system and even work with regulators.
The report also mentions that many leading economists, including former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, do not agree cryptocurrencies as a medium of payment and call Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset”.
The report has also offered its recommendations to the government, regulators, investors, and entrepreneurs.
“Policymakers, regulators, and entrepreneurs should continue to work together to ensure developers can deploy these new blockchain technologies quickly and in a manner that protects Americans from fraud, theft, and abuse, while ensuring compliance with relevant regulations.”
The report also advises government agencies to consider and examine new uses for this technology that could make the government more efficient in performing its functions.