Greater education efforts from innovators are also needed to help inform Congress and Executive-branch policymakers about the shifting technological landscape and the operational challenges posed by the current regulatory uncertainty. A vibrant two-way dialogue will be critical to asking the right questions about what this technology truly means for America’s position on the global stage. A discussion of the obstacles deriving from state regulatory dissonance should be encouraged, and states should work in concert with the federal government to ensure that entrepreneurs can offer their products throughout the country without excessive compliance burdens.
The United States proved two decades ago the model for fomenting, spurring on and leading a technological revolution that transformed the world—freedom and restraint of regulatory zeal. If it incorporates those lessons learned and takes steps to reinvigorate and provide a streamlined means of experimentation for its entrepreneurs and innovators, it can serve as the epicenter of yet another world-changing technological transition.
Scott Nelson is CEO of Sweetbridge, an Arizona-based startup that is building blockchain-based protocols for commerce. Previously, he founded and led Trax Technologies, a global SaaS and supply chain services firm.