In January it was reported that U.S. House of Representatives Member David Schweikert will speak at a Washington blockchain event, organized by the Chamber of Digital Commerce – the first time a sitting Congressman on the finance committee will be addressing the bitcoin community in the American capital.
Now we bring you an interview with the creator of the event and the founder of of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, a DC-based trade association promoting acceptance digital assets, Perianne Boring.
Please tell us about your background and what led you to create the Chamber of Digital Commerce
I began my career as a legislative analyst in the US House of Representatives, advising on finance, economics, tax and healthcare policy.
This gave me a chance to see firsthand how important the dialogue is between policy makers, regulators and industry in developing pro-growth legislation and regulation. I’ve also learned how to facilitate that dialogue and what happens when industry is not included in the policy discussions.
Prior to forming the Chamber, I was a television host and the anchor of “Prime Interest,” an international finance program that aired in over 100 countries to over 650 million viewers. I was also a contributor at Forbes, and authored the column “Boring Economics.”
Bitcoin was one of my favorite topics to cover on my show. Then 2013 happened – the year bitcoin’s reputation was crushed – which lead to multiple federal rule-makings and Congressional hearings. In my work, I often called for formal representation for the blockchain industry in DC. I eventually came to realize that this was my calling, which led to the formation of the Chamber.
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What are the perceptions of U.S lawmakers about bitcoin?
It is quite a mixed bag at this point and education is key. A big focus of the Chamber is to help close the education gap within government to ensure those who are creating policy do so with industry input and a knowledge and appreciation of the potential promise of blockchain technology.
Some say Washington has the most to lose if the current system changes. Is that really an issue?
In my view, Bitcoin is not meant to replace the USD; it’s an alternative.
The Chinese central bank wants its own cryptocurrency. Do you think that is something we can see the Fed doing?
David Andolfatto, Vice President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, did publish a post on his blog advocating for a “Fed Coin.” Central banks certainly could benefit from blockchain technology. However, I don’t expect Chairwoman Yellen to give her monetary powers over to a consensus model anytime soon. A more likely scenario would be for the Fed to phase out paper money and move to a full digital currency economy. If this were to happen, as a central bank, I would expect to see the Fed operate a centralized system.
Above and beyond monetary and fiscal policy, blockchain tech can strengthen many other areas within the public sector. And it’s not just me saying this. The UK Chief Scientist, Sir Mark Walport recently outlined a number of instances where distributed ledgers could strengthen public services.
The blockchain provides state-of-the-art cryptology. Data security, health records, social security records, birth certificates, voting records and many other assets commonly found in the public sector could benefit from blockchain technology.
What do you plan to achieve with the Summit?
The DC Blockchain Summit is the keystone event in Washington. The Summit will feature representatives from leading companies in every industry who are pioneering with bitcoin, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. We are bringing together Congressional leaders, federal agencies, technologists, and industry leaders to improve the policy dialogue, and close the education gap on all sides.