US tech bill to create blockchain advisory role for Biden administration

US tech bill to create blockchain advisory role for Biden administration
US tech bill to create blockchain advisory role for Biden administration

Blockchain enthusiasts are buzzing over a new piece of legislation that would create the role of blockchain advisor to the US government. Titled the CHIPS and Science Act, the bill scaled congressional obstruction when it was voted 243-147 on Thursday.

All that remains is the signature of President Joe Biden, with commentators predicting that the next stage will be a mere formality. At its core, the bill aims to subsidize the production of chips and semiconductors in the United States.

Around $52 billion was earmarked by the bill’s drafters as subsidies to local chip makers aimed at stimulating production. Since the pandemic, the tech industry has been plagued by chip shortages, leading to skyrocketing prices and excessive reliance on foreign suppliers.

“For decades, some experts said we had to give up manufacturing in America. I never believed that. Manufacturing jobs are back,” Biden said. “Thanks to this bill, we’re going to have even more of them.”

Aside from reducing production costs, the bill would establish a digital currency advisory role for the Biden administration. The new role will operate under the Office of Science and Technology Policy and has been hailed by industry leaders as the right step in the right direction.

Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL), a digital currency enthusiast and head of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, expressed delight at the bill’s congressional approval. “I am proud to advance the policies needed to ensure that innovation continues to take shape in our government,” Soto said.

Not everyone is happy with the bill

The bill has attracted negative reaction from a small group of legislators. The dissenting group led by Bernie Sanders argued that the incoming bill is simply a “blank check” that chip makers have access to.

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“There is no debate that the shortage of microchips and semiconductors is a serious threat to our nation,” Sanders asserted. “What I cannot understand is why so many in Congress are so eager to pay this bribe.”

Sanders said in a publicly released statement that Congress’s move would mean the five largest semiconductor companies would receive the lion’s share of the subsidies despite having posted more than $70 billion in profits over the past 12 months.

He stated that he would support the bill if certain conditions were met. At the top of the list is that the companies must not buy back their own shares and must remain neutral in trade union activities in their industry.

Watch: US Congressman Patrick McHenry on Blockchain Policy Matters with Bitcoin Association’s Jimmy Nguyen

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