The Subcommittee on Innovation, Data and Commerce of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the United States House of Representatives met to discuss the blockchain technology and the future of Web3 June 7th. Members of the crypto industry, including Polygon Labs President Ryan Wyatt and several legal experts, appeared before the committee for what turned out to be a constructive dialogue.
This meeting was held just after the SEC to announce back-to-back lawsuits against popular cryptocurrency exchanges Binance and Coinbase. In his testimony, Wyatt speak the potential of blockchain technology and its value to users, as well as the advantages of building a healthy and well-regulated blockchain ecosystem in the United States.
Wyatt began by addressing the fundamental problem that blockchains solve: the problem of “extracting value” on the Internet. He explained that in the current era of the Internet—called “Web2” within the crypto space—large, centralized tech companies extract value from users by charging fees for goods and services, as well as collecting user data for their benefit.
Today, I had the privilege of testifying at the Innovation, Data & Commerce subcommittee at a Congressional hearing focused on educating lawyers on why this technology is important to all of us, and how it changes the value paradigm of the Internet.
We are in this together. pic.twitter.com/l8OcDM12hB
—Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz) June 7, 2023
According to Wyatt, blockchain networks solve this problem by democratizing the Internet and creating Web3, based on decentralized and transparent systems. Blockchain networks use cryptography and a computer network to secure and maintain information, eliminating the need for a centralized authority. In this Web3 model, users can control their data and choose when, how, and if they want to share it with applications and services.
As for how the US government could partner with industry to drive modernization, Wyatt mentioned that the current regulatory environment is a major hurdle. By fostering a well-regulated blockchain ecosystem, the Polygon Labs executive said the United States could maintain its competitive edge and ensure the tech industry thrives domestically:
“When regulation doesn’t accommodate new technology where it is, the United States loses its competitive advantage over other countries.”
Lastly, Wyatt argued that creating a blockchain technology ecosystem in the United States benefits Americans by boosting economic growth and creating jobs in both the tech and non-tech sectors. It can also enable better consumer protection by taking advantage of the transparency of blockchain networks and adapting regulation to new technologies.
Wyatt’s testimonial provides several examples of Web3 applications and use cases, such as blockchain-based consumer loyalty programs, non-fungible tokens in the fashion industry, blockchain-based community organizations, and blockchain solutions for supply chain management in the US Air Force and Department of Defense.
The hearing comes shortly after an Agriculture Commission meeting on June 6, in which members questioned executives from various exchanges and former regulators about compliance and consumer protection. It is also the first time lawmakers have held a hearing on cryptocurrency addressing non-financial use cases.
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