Brookings Institution: Like the early internet, blockchain tech deserves a careful, light touch from regulators
“Had we over-regulated the Internet early on, we would have missed out on many innovations that we can’t imagine living without today.”
Over at the Brookings Institution’s tech blog today, Mohit Kaushal and Sheel Tyle, have a great piece explaining blockchain technology. We couldn’t agree more with their conclusion:
The Blockchain is a foundational technology, like TCP/IP, which enables the Internet. And much like the Internet in the late 1990s, we don’t know exactly how the Blockchain will evolve, but evolve it will.
Similar to the Internet, the Blockchain must also be allowed to grow unencumbered. This will require careful handling that recognizes the difference between the platform and the applications that run on it. TCP/IP empowers numerous financial applications that are regulated, but TCP/IP is not regulated as a financial instrument. The Blockchain should receive similar consideration. While the predominant use case for the Blockchain today is bitcoin currency exchange that may require regulation, this will change over time.
Had we over-regulated the Internet early on, we would have missed out on many innovations that we can’t imagine living without today. The same is true for the Blockchain. Disruptive technologies rarely fit neatly into existing regulatory considerations, but rigid regulatory frameworks have repeatedly stifled innovation. It’s likely that innovations in the Blockchain will outpace policy, let’s not slow it down.
As they say, read the whole thing.