On Wednesday, a message was broadcasted by U.S. government officials at the DC Blockchain Summit in Washington-even as securities officials cautioned exchanges who offer ICO tokens trading. James Sullivan (Deputy Assistant Secretary of services at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration) remarked during his address;
“We cannot make policy in the abstract” and concluded by saying;
“I would welcome all of you in the audience to reach out … and to hear your recommendations”
There’s no doubt that Sullivan showed support for the use of blockchain inside the trade finance chain, especially for smaller companies with hardly any resources, as he stated;
“The companies that are usually hit hardest by that gap of trade finance are small- and medium-sized businesses”
Attendees who talked to CoinDesk, turned out to be more divergent on the question of blockchain’s use in government and also on the the subject of cryptocurrency regulation, which was the greatest concern at the event as well. Scepticism was also expressed by one of the employees of a major blockchain startup that the U.S. officials would seriously obligate to utilize this tech, conflicting that agencies might be served a lot better, seeing at the advances of tokenization.
Chief data architect of OPM (Office of Personnel Management), Marcel Jemio, alongside Mark Fisk, who’s an IBM Public Service Blockchain partner stated that blockchain could be utilized in order to aggregate government employee information in a more efficient and well-organized way.
“I think blockchain in a lot of cases is going to be an enabler of solving the problem, but not necessarily with solving the problem only with blockchain”
Jihan Wu, co-founder of Bitmain also revealed that the bitcoin mining hardware giant wants to invest in startups and looking forward to make a “private central banks” that utilize cryptocurrencies. Wu thinks that tokens on the market today will eventually come to be viewed as securities under traditional meanings.
CoinDesk was told by conference attendees that they’d definitely appreciate regulation, specifically relating to ICOs, whereas others asserted that these emerging regulations at this time would probably lodge businesses into inflexible models ill-suited for such a quick moving situation. Attendees also showed their concern about the unreliable treatment of cryptocurrencies by the U.S. government, specified that the IRS considers bitcoin as property and the CFTC views it as a commodity.
But at the same time, two members from a cryptocurrency services company said that they believed such dissonance could eventually profit the industry, with the lack of agreement by the SEC, the CFTC and the IRS, eventually imposing further discussion on the finest way onward. Brian Quintenz, a commissioner for the CFTC, was also seen at the event, firmly encouraging more self-regulation in the cryptocurrency space. Quintenz even told the audience that cryptocurrency platforms should come forward and self-regulate.