Biden can get smart on blockchain and crypto thanks to new semiconductor bill

Biden can get smart on blockchain and crypto thanks to new semiconductor bill
Biden can get smart on blockchain and crypto thanks to new semiconductor bill

The crypto and blockchain industry continues to feel the pain of the $60 billion Terra Luna crash that saw a $3 trillion industry cut down to 1/3 its size. As of last week, 3,276 cryptocurrency and blockchain jobs have been lost in the cryptocurrency industry, with companies such as Coinbase, Gemini,, and OpenSea forced to make mass layoffs.

However, there may be hope for a lucky crypto or blockchain expert thanks to a new semiconductor law called the ‘CHIPS Act of 2022’ that just passed both the House and Senate this week and is on track to become law after President Biden gets the bill on his desk for to sign. Congressman Darren Soto (D-FL), co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus in the House of Representatives, introduced the amendment that is part of the bill that creates a new cryptocurrency and blockchain-focused position in the White House.

Section 10671 of the bill directs the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to “establish or designate a blockchain and cryptocurrency advisory specialist position within the office to coordinate federal activities and advise the President on research and development issues related to blockchain , cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology.”

Meanwhile, the White House OSTP already has assignments to complete on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology thanks to Biden’s Executive Order (EO) 10467 on ‘Responsible Development of Digital Assets’ signed in March 2022. EO 10467 requires two separate reports on cryptocurrency and blockchain to to be submitted no later than September 5, 2022. The first report of the OSTP will cover, “…the connections between distributed ledger technologies and short-, medium-, and long-term economic and energy transitions; the potential for these technologies to prevent or advance efforts to address climate change at home and abroad; and the impact these technologies have on the environment.” On March 25, 2022, OSTP issued a request for information to the public asking for input to help shape this report.

The second report calls for OSTP to work with the Chief Technology Officer of the United States to complete, “…a technical evaluation of the technological infrastructure, capacity, and expertise that would be required at relevant agencies to facilitate and support the adoption of a CBDC system should be proposed.” EO 14067 also requires that this report include an evaluation to address, “… the technical risks of the various designs, including with respect to new and future technological developments, such as quantum computing.”

However, these reports only require the sophisticated knowledge of blockchain and distributed ledger technology to be used for a short period that is set to expire after the agency meets the requirements of the EO. Thus, this change in the bill sends a strong message overall that the current administration believes that this technology is here to stay, and thought leadership will be necessary for the United States to successfully navigate what the disruptions from this new technology will mean for the American the economy.

The notion that the volatile cryptocurrency market sends a specialized workforce back and forth from employment to the sidelines is something the US will want to avoid if it is to be the technological leader in digital assets and distributed ledger technology. Therefore, the notion of one administration position to provide leadership for crypto and blockchain is a good start, but is hopefully the start of the US providing other forms of employment or subsidies to the cryptocurrency and blockchain specialists that we do not want to leave the country because of. to the inability to secure a permanent job.

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