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Polis, Mulvaney Launch ‘Blockchain Caucus’

Reps. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.) on Monday announced the launch of a “blockchain caucus” in Congress aimed at shaping policy on the distributed ledger platform and digital currency.

The two lawmakers said they have been working with the Coin Center, a Washington-based nonprofit focused on digital currency technology, to educate members of Congress about it. Mulvaney is a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize the financial services industry, the U.S. economy, and the delivery of government services, and I am proud to be involved with this initiative on the ground floor,” Mulvaney said in a statement.

“The Blockchain Caucus will focus on raising awareness, advancing ideas that foster growth, and safeguarding consumers,” Polis said in a statement.

“We are very excited by the formation of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and look forward to continuing to work with its members to chart a path forward with the same type of light-touch regulation from which the early internet benefited just a few decades ago,” said Jerry Brito, executive director of the Coin Center, in a statement.

Congress has been turning more attention to fintech advancements recently. Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), another member of the Financial Services Committee, wrote a letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency last week calling for “regulatory flexibility” on digital currencies and blockchain. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), another member of the panel, introduced a bill last week, H.R. 6118, that would establish offices within 12 regulatory agencies for “financial services innovation.”

The OCC is considering a national charter for fintech firms.