The recently releases US Congress Press release heaped praises on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The US Congress released its massive joint report on the state of the economy. And for the first time, it dedicated an entire chapter to cryptocurrency. Moreover, there was a number of bullish sentiments on the future of blockchain technology.
Here are some of the important excerpts from the Congress press release
The blockchain is a new internet
“The buzz surrounding digital currencies resembles the internet excitement in the late 1990s when people recognized technology companies could change the world. Many internet companies launched and their valuations took off in short order. Many failed, but a few succeeded spectacularly and challenged the conventional ways of doing business.”
Cryptocurrencies could become better than Fiat currencies
“Some critics of currencies controlled by government fiat welcome cryptocurrencies because their supply is preprogrammed and perceived as unchangeable. For example, only 21 million bitcoins will ever be issued and the last fraction of a bitcoin will be issued in approximately 2140. Additionally, the creator of Ethereum designed its mining reward to decline exponentially as more miners create blocks, and according to his calculations the supply will be just over 100 million ether.”
“Cryptocurrencies and ICOs create headlines, and the pace of financial innovation in the blockchain space amazes skeptics. Yet, with all the headlines focusing on the financial applications, people may miss the digital revolution now happening with other blockchain applications. Even worse, people could be frightened about new developments with the technology as they associate blockchains with the negative headlines. Blockchain technology offers a decentralized, secure, and efficient way to store almost any form of data across multiple platforms.”
Blockchain can be the new revolution
“Developers, companies, and governments recognize the potential and have already starting to implement blockchains for many different uses. For instance, health care providers, patients, and policymakers continue searching for portable and secure ways to store medical records digitally.
Blockchain in Industries
Shipping a product from a supplier to retail creates mountains of paperwork or computer records that are rarely compatible across differing systems. Especially a when distributor acts as a middleman between the two. The paperwork and data tracking multiplies when sending said product overseas or importing. Not only will multiple parties need to ship the product, but the supplier and customer will have to deal with customs agency paper work. Recognizing blockchain’s potential, IBM teamed up with the 214 world’s largest shipping company, Maersk. It is to develop a consensus distributed ledger that would allow all companies and government agencies along the chain to record, track, and verify products throughout their journey.
Walmart and other grocers started testing blockchains for their supply chains. In testimony before the House Science and Technology Committee, Frank Yiannas, Walmart’s Vice President of Food Safety, described how tracking E. coli and other contaminated food took companies and regulators weeks, which left Americans at risk and incurring large costs in food waste. Walmart tested a blockchain platform to track sliced mangos from farm to shelves. And this reduced the tracking time from 7 days to 2.2 seconds. Walmart and ten of the largest grocers in America formed a coalition to implement this technology throughout their supply chains.”
“Technology presents evolving challenges and generates new solutions. Blockchain technology essentially stores and transmits data securely, in large volume, and at high speeds. So far, the technology has proved largely resistant to hacking. And given this feature, developers first applied it to digital currencies. Yet blockchain has many more potential applications, such as portable medical records and securing the critical financial and energy infrastructure that the Report identified.”
Of course, the report issues a number of cautions as well, including the risks involved in investing in Initial Coin Offerings and the volatile world of crypto.
“At this point, many prominent economists do not believe cryptocurrencies fit the standard definition of money. Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen considered Bitcoin a “highly speculative asset” that is not considered legal tender. Bitcoin itself has technical and economic limitations that hinder its use as a medium of exchange. Transaction processing time and fees on the Bitcoin network keep increasing and render Bitcoin uneconomical for common purchases.
Extreme volatility in the dollar price of cryptocurrencies also impairs their use as money because people price goods and services in dollars and thus their purchasing power fluctuates wildly.”