Cryptocurrency is a newer form of currency exchange that should not go unexplored. However, we must ensure proper consumer protections, make sure companies are adequately capitalized so they don't collapse and ensure adequate security.
In order to understand cryptocurrency and how much we need it, we must first understand a brief history of trade and money. Before money, people simply exchanged and traded goods and services. In short, it became difficult to keep track of agreements and who was paid and what was owed. It was then that "IOUs" were created along with small representations of debt that came in various forms (ex. salt, wheat, shells). These various forms of debt lacked intrinsic value, so the world’s leaders eventually replaced them with metal. However, metal coins obviously became too heavy to carry around, especially for the rich who often had plenty. It was then that paper money was created and traded for the coins it represented. The problem was that paper money could be too easily copied and reproduced without any real value attached to it.
This is when traders and lenders began linking the value of paper money (a.k.a, bank notes) with gold. This created a special standard between currencies. It was called the gold standard. The gold standard continued on for centuries, but the need for flexible exchange rates prevailed. Since the 1970’s the world has ceased trying to keep the gold standard. So, the only thing that now distinguishes bank notes from any other type of paper is faith. That’s right! Faith that the bank note is actually worth what it says. Imagine that! Before we trusted in something (salt, wheat, shells), now we trust in someone, which is worse! There is no actual commodity or value in paper money.
This is where cryptocurrency comes in. It’s simply a newer, more secure version or form of exchange. Consider that a very small fraction of paper money and coins are used in any transaction. Credit cards and electronic banking have replaced physical money. And let’s face it, cryptocurrency is digital, making it safer, harder to forge, durable, divisible, and supply will never be an issue. Digital currency is undoubtedly the way of the future so it's time to get a handle on it now. The next stage is obtaining government clearance and security for this new form of currency and finding legislators who are willing to embrace it and work together to create legislation that benefits the American people.
Indiana's U.S. senators are behind the times when it comes to this issue. For example, Senator Todd Young, has been a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation for the longest. Mr. Young introduced the Blockchain Promotion Act of 2019, which failed at everything except to create a definition for cryptocurrency.
We need more than just a definition and other empty proposals, as the rest of the world is quickly moving forward on blockchain technology. I promise to introduce cryptocurrency and blockchain legislation that goes beyond forming a single definition, but legislation which:
Moves the country forward toward a modern digital currency which capitalizes on blockchain technology by first acknowledging that bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency are acceptable new forms of currency exchange
Allows for the decentralization of currency while requiring more transparent ledgers
Works with potential banks and crypto providers to ensure proper consumer protection, enough capital to avoid collapse, and greater security
While Bitcoin, and other forms of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology may not be direct forms of investment in foreign trade, America must be at the forefront of this technology.