Rep. Soto seeks to create office to ‘coordinate’ Federal use of blockchain tech

A new bill filed on Thursday, H.R.9067, seeks to create an office that will “coordinate” federal applications of blockchain technology. 

Sponsored by Rep. Darren Soto, a Democrat representing Florida’s 9th district, the bill would “establish an office within the Department of Commerce to coordinate all non-defense related deployment and activities related to blockchain technology within the Federal Government.”

As of Dec. 31, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

While the text of the bill has yet to be released, the bill’s sponsor might give some indication of the kinds of blockchain technology applications such an office would seek to “coordinate.”

Soto has proven in recent months to be an increasingly vocal proponent for both cryptocurrencies — which he accepts for campaign donations — and for blockchain technology in general.

Following news that the United States Postal Service had filed a patent for a blockchain-based mail-in voting system, the co-chairman of the Blockchain Caucus told Cointelegraph in an interview that he hoped it would be put to use in the near future.

“Certainly I could see it being utilized very soon, over the next couple of election cycles,” he said.

Additionally, in September Soto announced the culmination of “nearly two years of pushing” his colleagues in the Committee on Energy and Commerce: the Digital Taxonomy Act, which will lead to a study on the use of blockchain technology in government. Creating an office as described by H.R.9067 would presumably lead to faster adoption and implementation of such technologies.

Soto’s cryptocurrency advocacy has been especially strong as of late. The Florida native was also among the nine congresspeople who chastised the Treasury for allowing just over two weeks for comments on a new crypto monitoring rule. The rule has led to a call-to-arms across the cryptocurrency community, and some have speculated that the Treasury may face a lawsuit for violating procedure.

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XRP enthusiasts seek to force White House’s hand on SEC suit

As token prices plunge and Ripple prepares for court, a band of XRP enthusiasts have rallied around a petition that may force a White House statement on the recent SEC lawsuit alleging Ripple conducted an unregistered securities offering. 

A petition filed on the White House-run We the People website titled “We the People ask the federal government to deem XRP, the virtual currency, a currency,” has now crossed 10,000 signatures.

Created by the Obama administration in 2011, We the People allows users to create petitions that, upon reaching 100,000 signatures within 30 days, will prompt an official White House response. While many of the petitions are serious, the platform has been home to more than one lark: one of the most famous petitions called for the construction of a Death Star.

The XRP petition, created by “J.W.”, calls for the SEC to “cease” its “frivolous” lawsuit, referencing a previous FinCEN determination that XRP is a currency. The petition also references XRP’s rapidly-deteriorating marketcap — a drawdown that TheTIE’s Joshua Frank has called the “third largest collapse of all-time” — as well as the “hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans” who are “suffering irreparable harm and damages.”

XRP’s market cap has fallen by 93% from $137B to under $10B. That makes the value of the XRP collapse bigger than Enron and Worldcom.

While not a bankruptcy, XRP is effectively the third largest collapse of all time behind Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual.

— Joshua Frank (@Joshua_Frank_) December 30, 2020

The petition effort comes as Ripple prepares for a February pretrial conference, the first of what may prove to be a long and contentious legal process. Following the SEC’s filing a suit on December 22nd, the number of major exchanges who have delisted XRP continues to grow, and Ripple has released a statement encouraging investors and the press to wait to hear the company’s side of the story before coming to any conclusions. 

As the legal process moves forward, petition signers find themselves with few options. Said one redditor:

“I feel like you could get a million signatures and it wouldn’t do a damn thing. That being said, I signed it.”Title: XRP enthusiasts seek to force White House’s hand on SEC suit
Sourced From: cointelegraph.com/news/xrp-enthusiasts-seek-to-force-white-house-s-hand-on-sec-suit
Published Date: Sat, 02 Jan 2021 16:05:30 +0000

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