US lawmakers call for using blockchain to distribute economic aid

Eleven members of the US Congress are calling on the country’s Ministry of Finance to consider implementing blockchain and other technologies to solve the problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter sent to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, lawmakers write that blockchain and distributed Ledger technology (DLT) are secure “new mechanisms” for the rapid and transparent movement of money, which can increase liquidity when allocating funds in accordance with the Federal CARES law.

The letter, initiated by Congressman Darren Soto, also says that the Treasury Department can take “additional steps” to improve the effectiveness of its actions in distributing financial assistance to citizens and small businesses. Lawmakers write:

“We strongly recommend that the Ministry of Finance use private sector innovations, such as blockchain and DLT, to support the necessary functions of the government to implement assistance programs. Make sure that all guidelines support the use of technology to facilitate the provision of payments required by the CARES act. Such steps will ensure that America retains its technological advantages, and that small businesses and people who need help most will get it quickly.”

Lawmakers also pointed to China’s deployment of its own blockchain, and cited examples of other countries using the technology. Soto said that when writing the letter, he communicated with developers, entrepreneurs and other interested parties.

In his opinion, blockchain or DLT tools may be the most secure of the available technologies to solve some of the logistical challenges that the Federal government faces when distributing funds and goods. Blockchain-based systems can be combined with artificial intelligence to better manage tracked or transmitted data.

Soto believes that”it is worth at least doing pilot programs.” According to him, the results of these pilot projects can give an idea of what the next steps may be. At the same time, the Congressman is not yet going to replace existing systems with versions on the blockchain.

“During this terrible crisis, there are certain opportunities to promote technology. This gives us a chance to potentially improve the efficiency of solving many logistics issues, ” he said.

Researchers at the world economic forum (WEF) recently expressed a similar opinion. In the latest report, they said that blockchain will help solve problems in global supply chains that have emerged amid the coronavirus pandemic.