Much like fathers and sons, government agencies and the cryptocurrency market share a very strained relationship. They continuously butt heads and take turns to win against each other. The cryptocurrency market poses a threat to the way governments function and challenges the status-quo that they maintain, while governments and their agencies checkmate the market with regulations and laws sending the market into fits of panic. The two have never been at real ease with each other and are constantly stuck in a stalemate of sorts.
Bitcoin prices saw a massive boom in December last year and since proven to be a market too big to sweep under the rug any longer. And for the first time since its inception in 2009, the cryptocurrency market is being discussed in government forums and people are actively looking for ways to integrate the market into the existing tax structures and laws, as the financial year draws to a close.
Statements issued by government bodies with regard to the market are down-right confusing because one day they’re looking for ways to legalize it only to call for a complete ban the very next day. Understanding which way government officials are leaning is becoming harder with each passing day. But, since the last years market boom, the market is being viewed as an undeniable phenomenon and has found its way to the centre of all discussions and financial talks.
This year’s Joint Economic Report released by the US Congress has a lot of things to say about the cryptocurrency market and they are all surprisingly positive. The extensive publication runs into a couple of hundred pages and for the first time features the crypto market. It explains processes like ICOs, KYC and goes into technical details of the blockchain and how cryptocurrencies work.
2018’s report dubs 2017 as ‘the year of the cryptocurrencies’ and contains almost twenty-five pages worth of information on the market and its technology. While none of the information is ground-breaking as such and is of a largely academic nature, it has a lot of literature on the blockchain and how ICOs are conducted.
One of the many graphs in the report concluded that,
“Cryptocurrencies made stock market gains look insignificant.”
A 180 degree flip
While the literature in the report is mostly academic in nature, the fact that, first, the crypto market featured in the report so extensively comes as a surprise and second, the fact that it has been given such positive reviews, is all the more surprising, because of the amount of bad press the market gathered from government agencies and regulatory bodies in the US in the past year. For example, it was only a while back that the SEC served subpoenas on a selected group of ICOs and the way the agency has maintained a sceptical outlook on the market.
When discussing the viability of the cryptocurrencies the report concluded that;
“Cryptocurrencies resemble real assets or commodities more than currencies, though their future role could expand to include functioning as a medium of exchange.”
May Promote Industry Adoption
The blockchain technology is known to be an efficient, un-tamperable way of record-keeping. And in the US, since 2010’s Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama, the healthcare industry has been a large area of focus for the government then and the Trump administration now.
Two of the most prominent issues of the healthcare system in the US namely; drug prescribing and maintaining electronic patient records, could benefit largely because of the blockchain. And during the National Congress, there was a lot of dialogue regarding the integration of blockchain technology with the healthcare industry and how it will improve general reliability and increase security.
There was also a lot of talk about adopting the power of blockchain technology into the securities industry of the country because as a sector, that is something that the government needs to work on, desperately. And the use of the blockchain makes the system impenetrable.
The report also talks about the concerns that remain and need to be addressed before a full-scale adoption of the market, such as security and proper regulation. However, the report also outlines that, while a lot of exchanges and wallet providers have been hacked in the past, there is no hard-proof or evidence of the underlying technology of the blockchain being hacked or tampered with.
The document also outlines the fact that the biggest holdup in the advancement of the government’s relationship with the cryptocurrency market is the lack of understanding of how the market functions and how the security could be bettered with the use of technology.
The report on its own, for the already initiated, is quite fundamental and is of no groundbreaking nature. It simply outlines what is already known and is being said about the industry. However, having said that, the fact that it makes such a large appearance in the annual report of the National Congress acts as a form of validation for the industry and restores faith amongst crypto enthusiasts in the country that the crypto market is here to stay.
The report implores and encourages policymakers and blockchain entrepreneurs to continue to work together to ensure wide-scale adoption of all that the blockchain stands to offer for the country and also make sure that the people of America are safeguarded from a number of fraudulent schemes, thefts and hacks that are a part and parcel of the industry.
While this report serves only information about the industry and the general willingness to adopt the use of cryptocurrency, it is most appreciative of the underlying blockchain technology and how it is impenetrable. The adoption of cryptocurrency into the mainstream financial sector may well be a few years down the line, but the healthcare and security sector, in the country, are likely to see a switch to blockchain technology pretty soon. But either way, this report comes as a reassurance of faith to crypto enthusiasts across the country and is a massive validation of the industry.