Bill to Study Blockchain Advances From House Committee

A bill introduced to authorize a study of blockchain technology advanced out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week.

The American Competitiveness Of a More Productive Emerging Tech Economy Act, or American COMPETE Act, was one of seven pieces of consumer protection legislation advanced out of committee on Sept. 9. The legislation was introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Bobby Rush, D-Ill., on Aug. 31.

“This legislation will help ensure America leads the world in technological innovations well into the 21st Century,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said in a statement.“It’s imperative that we continue to work together for America’s global competitive edge in emerging technologies that will raise our standard of living, empower individuals, and create American jobs.”

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The legislation mandates studies by the Department of Commerce and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and quantum computing. A similar provision to conduct a study and submit a report on the state of the blockchain technology and use in consumer protection also has been introduced in a separate piece of legislation, which advanced as a part of the Consumer Safety Technology Act.

“The American COMPETE Act will not only ensure that the United States remains out in front with regards to emerging technology, but this bipartisan bill also contains important provisions addressing how we can use these technologies to better protect our constituents,” said Rep. Rush. “Whether protecting our seniors from scam artists or protecting the public from disinformation, emerging technologies will undoubtedly play a pivotal role, and the American COMPETE Act recognizes that.”

Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., praised the legislation and said, “I look forward to the full House voting on these bills soon.”

In addition to Reps. Rush and McMorris Rodgers, the bill has 11 additional cosponsors. The bill does not appear to have a Senate companion.

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