11 Lawmakers Urge US Treasury to Consider Blockchain for COVID-19 Relief


Eleven members of Congress are calling on the U.S. Treasury Division to take a look at new applied sciences, together with blockchain and distributed ledger expertise (DLT), to assist streamline how money and provides are distributed below a federal regulation attempting to increase the economic system in the course of the COVID-19 disaster. 

A letter addressed to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin factors to blockchain and DLT as safe “new mechanisms” for shifting cash shortly and transparently, which might in flip increase liquidity in distributing funds by way of the federal CARES Act. 

U.S. Congressman Darren Soto (D-Fla.) spearheaded the letter, dated April 23 however launched publicly on Tuesday.

Reps. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Invoice Posey (R-Fla.) and Ben McAdams (D-Utah) and Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-U.S. Virgin Islands) all joined Soto in signing the letter.

“We perceive your main mission is to ship pressing and essential help to America’s small companies and dealing households,” the letter says. “Because the pandemic continues to impression the economic system, we glance ahead to supporting the Administration’s efforts to get American small companies working whereas additionally prioritizing well being, security, and correct oversight.”

Nonetheless, the letter says, the Treasury Division can take “extra steps” to enhance its efforts.

“We thus strongly encourage the Treasury Division to make the most of personal sector improvements corresponding to blockchain and DLT to help the mandatory capabilities of presidency to distribute and observe reduction packages and direct that each one steering help the usage of expertise to facilitate supply of CARES Act advantages,” the letter says. “Such steps will guarantee each that America retains its technological benefit and that reduction is delivered shortly to the small companies and people who want it most.”

The letter factors to China’s rollout of its personal blockchain system for instance of different nations pursuing the identical expertise.

Why blockchain?

Soto, who co-chairs the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, advised CoinDesk he had spoken with builders, entrepreneurs and different members of the caucus in drafting the letter. 

In his view, blockchain or DLT instruments could be essentially the most safe ones obtainable to remedy some logistical challenges the federal authorities is going through in distributing funds and different provides.

Blockchain-based methods could possibly be coupled with synthetic intelligence (AI) to higher handle the information being tracked or transmitted, he mentioned.

“It really works so nicely in hand with synthetic intelligence and it is not topic to hacking or adjustments after getting that mounted ledger down,” he mentioned. 

Soto sees AI as a supplementary software, reasonably than one thing to take cost of a distribution community. Policymakers would nonetheless want to set strict parameters and people would nonetheless have to act as directors for such a system, he mentioned. 

“We might see larger velocity and effectivity proper now,” he mentioned of the proposed system. 

Due to the COVID-19 disaster, there’s much more demand for sure items than there’s provide, and having people handle their distribution is a troublesome job. 

“I consider it’s price at the least doing pilot packages,” Soto mentioned. The outcomes of those pilots can inform what a subsequent step may appear to be, he mentioned, although he’s not trying to instantly substitute current methods with blockchain-based variations simply but.

This can be a good time to begin the dialog, Soto mentioned. 

“Throughout this horrible disaster there are particular alternatives to advance applied sciences,” he mentioned. “This presents us with a possibility to probably get larger effectivity for a variety of these logistical points.”

Learn the complete letter beneath:

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