Rep. Kate Lipper-Garabedian, representing the 32nd Middlesex district in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, recently introduced a bill proposing a special commission on blockchain and cryptocurrency (House Docket 2065). The Boston Blockchain Association applauds this initiative and would like to recognize Rep. Lipper-Garabedian for her leadership in this fast-growing industry.
Blockchain technology is fundamentally transforming financial markets and our entire monetary system. Best known as the technology that fuels bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, blockchain is also transforming industries as diverse as communications, healthcare, supply chain—not to mention government itself.
In our view, Rep. Lipper-Garabedian’s focus on blockchain and cryptocurrency is the right place to begin, since the markets for these digital assets have rapidly grown to over $1.5 trillion in value, according to industry reporting from CoinMarketCap. Given Massachusetts’ strength as a fintech hub (State Street, Fidelity, the Boston Federal Reserve, Fintech Sandbox), as well as an educational powerhouse (MIT, Harvard, Northeastern, BU, Babson, etc.), this is the right time and place to focus government efforts.
We also applaud the bill’s direction to appoint a commission to research blockchain and cryptocurrency, as the biggest challenge in this new industry is education. A commission, comprised of a broad array of government stakeholders, will help educate and inform these critical opinion leaders, allowing the Commonwealth to make deeply informed decisions on blockchain investments and infrastructure.
We are encouraged that our representatives plan to include blockchain experts from private industry and academia on the commission, as we are fortunate to have so many blockchain industry leaders right here in Massachusetts. This will not only accelerate learning, but also help provide better “feedback loops” between the public and private sectors, ultimately leading to better business and government.
Providing government with a forum to understand and accelerate blockchain technology development in Massachusetts will be a tremendous driver of jobs growth and economic reinforcement and development in the months and years ahead. It is very much like the early days of computing, where Massachusetts’ 128 belt became a globally recognized hub—or the early days of biotech, which has led to Cambridge becoming a global hub.
Today, as we begin the decade of the 2020’s, we have the opportunity to build the Commonwealth into the global hub of blockchain, and Rep. Lipper-Garabedian’s proposal is an excellent step forward. All boats will rise with the tide.