IBM Report Suggests US Should Assume Leadership of the Crypto Space as it Did With Research into the Internet in the 1970s and 1980s

A recent report released by U.S tech giant IBM suggests that developers and organizations investigating blockchain innovation are looking to the U.S. government to provide leadership in the industry.

Written by Thomas Hardjono, executive of the MIT Trust Data Consortium, the report outlines the results of a survey at a series of roundtable gatherings held in 2017/2018 by the Congressional Blockchain Caucus – a group of legislators in the U.S. Congress who advocate for the tech. The gatherings were led by Representatives David Schweikert and Jared Polis with the intention to unearth the possible use cases for blockchain technologies as well as its adoption.

According to the report, “solid industry agreement exists around the conviction that blockchain innovation will be the main edge of ‘next Internet’ economy.”

The report also indicated that “It is imperative that government and industry work together to continue and strengthen technological and market leadership in this new area, and to address potential policy and regulatory incompatibility that may constrain growth of the emerging digital-blockchain economy.”

Each of the gatherings was meant to find uses cases for the technology, clarify use cases and possible adoption in yet to be penetrated sectors of the economy.

The report clarified that participants from the gatherings came to three “overarching common themes.” Namely, that participants believe there needs to be “leadership and vision from the government,” that there should be “close collaboration between industry and government” and that there must be “increased research and test-bed deployments.”

“Currently there is a need for greater vision and leadership across government regarding the development of technology for a digital-blockchain economy, and the U.S. role in this future economy,” the report stated. “Industry leaders believe this technology will be core to the future of the economy as a whole, just as the Internet has become.”

Officials from Ripple, Sweetbridge, Joust Bank, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Microsoft’s Decentralized Identity Foundation, the Sovrin Foundation, the Linux Foundation attended the events to which IBM delivered the introductory sessions.

The study revealed that participants believe that “more resources need to be allocated toward this nascent yet rapidly evolving technology, much in the way the U.S. government-funded early research into the internet in the 1970s and 1980s.”

“It was this support from [the] government, combined with a shared vision for a U.S. leadership role in initial internet communications technology, that allowed the internet to flourish with broad adoption and become the foundation of the digital economy today,” it said.


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