Thousands of Mainers have heard about the advancing developments in crypto and blockchain technologies in recent years. While many have been focused on a range of different types of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology could be so much more.

Blockchain technologies could be as integral and seamless to our daily lives as the internet has become, making everything from daily transactions, to even a trip to the DMV much easier. It has the potential to lower costs, dramatically speed up processing times, and securely store sensitive information. Yet, like any other emerging technology, to achieve its full potential it must be regulated responsibly and thoughtfully.

Regarding this, the House of Representatives made a good first step by passing the Financial Innovation and Technology (FIT) for the 21st Century Act. This bill would create clear guidelines for blockchain businesses, as well as for those in charge of their regulation. This bill would also clearly outline all of the ways this technology can grow, create jobs, and help the American economy. Moreover, this bill does this without overregulating this adolescent technology, preventing any overregulation that could stymie growth in the blockchain industry. Were overregulation to occur, it could cede ground in blockchain technology to businesses controlled by our adversaries, such as China and Russia.

Decades ago, when the internet was still developing from a niche hobby to an economic and technological tsunami, Congress and regulators, fortunately, gave businesses much space to grow. They encouraged innovation, creativity, and an exploration of what the Internet could become. These policies, were in turn, rewarded with an incredible economic boom and various quality-of-life improvements that still permeate throughout our modern world today.

Congress is working to do this again with the FIT Act. I encourage all Mainers to applaud these efforts, as blockchain technologies could be the future, and we should not leave them behind.

Brian Ouellette


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