U.S. Congressman Says Lawmakers Need to be Educated in Digital Currencies

In the pilot episode of Bitcoin Policy Matters, an online video series launched by Bitcoin Association that aims to put Bitcoin in the context of the current and future political landscape, U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC 10).

Authore Makkie Maclang

The Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Committee shares his personal and professional opinion about digital currencies and blockchain technology “Here in the United States, we pay more for the movement of funds than the rest of the world.

There is a profit motive for that, certainly, but what we need is action to bring more competition into the exchange of money [and] the movement of money. We see the benefits across society of digitization using technology. In essence, instead of having a person make the decision, you enable the technology to do it quickly and efficiently. Once that technology is set up, there are massive cost savings,” McHenry said

The North Carolina representative is a staunch supporter of digital currencies, especially Bitcoin, and he believes that there is much to gain if the United States embrace the technology. However, being a part of American policymaking, McHenry also knows that ​ it is a challenge for blockchain technology to be widely accepted and adopted by both lawmakers and citizens.

“The initial reaction out of Washington is that everything must fit the existing regulatory regime, which is not really keeping up with where we are in terms of the technology of Bitcoin or a distributed ledger technology…. [Bitcoin] is neither a commodity nor security—it does not fit into either rubric well. In fact, it’s very difficult to think of it on really the two planes of thinking that we have in Washington. This is a whole new way of thinking and that is very difficult for Washington to adapt to at its best. And Washington is currently not at its best,” McHenry explained.

One of the best ways to remedy this situation is for lawmakers to gain a basic Bitcoin education in order for them to understand and appreciate its endless potential and benefits. According to McHenry, this basic Bitcoin education is a crucial first step not only in improving understanding of the technology but also in weeding out misinformation and misconceptions about it.

“Education has to be the primary driver here. Most policymakers are not informed about the basics of cryptocurrency, the basics of blockchain technology—just the basics —so we need that base level of education to rise and then we can build off that platform. Right now, that baseline of education for policymakers is very important, because what we don’t need out of Washington or the states is to restrict or crush or try to kill this type of technological advancement,” McHenry stated.

Bitcoin Association, in its commitment to providing Bitcoin education to a wide audience, has launched Bitcoin SV Academy last year. It is an online educational platform geared towards not only providing basic education about the original Bitcoin design, but also correcting misconceptions and advancing its development. The Introduction to Bitcoin Theory course is free, and it would be great if lawmakers around the world take advantage of it and learn what they can about Bitcoin in order to fully appreciate what it can do to the national economy.

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