The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) – an “independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational think tank aiming at formulating, evaluating, and promoting policy solutions that accelerate innovation and boost productivity to spur growth, opportunity, and progress,” has released “A Policymaker’s Guide to Blockchain”.
The guide presents a comprehensive picture of blockchain technology origins, potential and existing uses as well as other issues associated with blockchain-related activities, such as data privacy, customers protection, and taxation. The authors’ findings come supported by a number of case studies.
The paper then calls on governments to “do more to support legitimate blockchain innovation and adoption, including ensuring regulations do not unnecessarily limit certain blockchain-based applications.” The authors propose a list of 10 principles for policymakers tasked with regulating blockchain-related technologies, each addressed individually. The principles proposed in the paper are as follows:
- Ensure technology neutrality.
- Actively support blockchain adoption and deployment in the public sector.
- Support blockchain research and development.
- Promote legal certainty for blockchain applications.
- Set rules for blockchains at the national, not subnational, level.
- Create a flexible regulatory environment that enables experimentation.
- Use targeted regulatory enforcement to incentivize companies to protect consumers.
- Avoid laws and regulations that prevent the use of blockchain technology.
- Promote data interoperability for blockchain applications.
- Work to establish international harmonization of blockchain regulations across sectors.
According to the authors, regulators should make rules that are flexible and enable experimentation, while preventing fraud and other harmful activities”. Most importantly, policymakers should strive to protect and support innovation in blockchain systems.” The paper concludes.